Well, that was unexpected. The University of Michigan announced earlier today that it had been notified of the NCAA investigation into sign stealing and stated that it was cooperating fully. This follows on from Harbaugh’s 3-game suspension self-imposed by the school earlier this year, following alleged recruiting violations dating back to 2021.
Breaking: The NCAA is investigating the Michigan Wolverines' football program amid allegations of sign stealing, the Big Ten Conference said Thursday.— ESPN (@espn) October 19, 2023
More: https://t.co/ntunUdKmbN pic.twitter.com/Ojt5NSQY7V
Upon learning of the investigation from the Big Ten, Michigan State warned that it would consider pulling out of the game, but it appears that the MSU-UM game will continue as usual this weekend.
Upon learning of the pending investigation, Michigan State initially warned the Big Ten it might consider not playing Saturday’s game out of concern for health and safety for its players.— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) October 19, 2023
On Thursday morning, MSU confirmed it will indeed play the game.https://t.co/K4NaZyQfW9 pic.twitter.com/f0jdTyvss2
This is a breaking story and may be updated as necessary.
“Writers”, what do we think? Just a misunderstanding? A vast criminal conspiracy?
MNW: If I were betting? It'll be Astros-esque. Harbaugh the lunatic sought out a competitive advantage and pushed the boundaries.
Nothing will come of it.
Kind of...: How is this surprising. Satellite camps. The three-game suspension this year. Now this. I’ve probably missed half a dozen other stories. Some are legal, some aren’t. Some should be, some shouldn’t. Bottom line, though: Harbz is going to do whatever he thinks he needs to to get an edge. And he’ll think he’s being a “Michigan Man” all while doing it.
Maybe he is.
Either way, will be “fun” to see all the retroactive scouring of box scores as everybody tries to figure out when it started, which results it affected, etc.
Larry31: My world is being turned upsidedown. As a devout follower of Maryland football, I am obligated to root against Penn State as long as they are playing in-conference. Now, this. Not only is Harbz weird and a smug prick, which is not an uncommon affliction amongst P-5 head coaches. But, cheating is something entirely different and changes the equation. Harbz is literally going to force me to root for OSU and Penn State, if this nonsense is true. Ewww. I feel kinda gross already. I need a shower.
Let’s just wait to see what happens before we hop aboard that hater train. Although, as Kindof... pointed out, there is plenty of smoke, with past transgressions, to this potential fire.
BoilerUp89: So, I’m going to assume Michigan has been doing this for awhile. I have no proof, but people don’t just start cheating. That means Michigan cheated their way to a win in the Big Ten championship game last year. It also means Purdue is your true Big Ten football champions of 2022! Hang the banner! Throw the parade.
Larry31: Yes, BoilerUp! Pivot the entire topic on how it affects you and your team. This is OTEing and it is beautiful. #RESPECT.
misdreavus79: This is not a good look. And, as much as I’ve hated it for the past two years, I had to recognize that Michigan had elevated themselves to a place where Penn State simply hadn’t. Now I, and and fans of teams Michigan has played for however long this has been going on, will always wonder. Was Michigan actually that good the past two seasons, or did they use a competitive advantage that made things look better than they actually were?
And here’s the thing: the teams on the remainder of Michigan’s schedule this season aren’t going to throw out their entire playbooks and signals, so the Wolverines will still have an unfair advantage, allegedly, until this is all sorted out. So they may three-peat still. But, because they got caught, their run will always have an asterisk now.
MaximumSam: I bet Harbaugh cheats at Euchre too.
Larry31: LOL. Well played, MaxSam.
RockyMtnBlue: Don’t know. Don’t care. Don’t want your signals stolen? Make better signals. Do most of you think we need to steal signals to beat your crummy teams? The thing that triggers me is MSU claiming to be afraid for the safety of their players. Seriously? Ok first of all, how does the other team knowing your play endanger your players? Second, YOU FUCKERS COMMITTED ASSAULT AND BATTERY LAST YEAR. I’m not the only Michigan fan around here who’s suggested maybe we should just sit JJ out of this one to make sure Sparty doesn’t end his season for him. This is who YOU are, MSU. Seriously, I’d pay real American dollars for Michigan to never play MSU again. Fuck that entire institution forever.
BRT: So hard to believe, Harbaugh seems like such a cool nice guy with oodles of integrit—lol, ok. So no, none of this is difficult to believe. Harbaugh is exactly the type of guy (and has a history of proving himself to be that guy) who believes rules don’t apply to him. And, he’s kind of right, since all he’s ever gotten is a slap on the wrist and millions of dollars for it. To me, it seems unlikely that you investigate a program like Michigan unless the evidence is fairly damning, but what do I know.
Of course I’m sad, because I’m sure that if Michigan wasn’t cheating, Nebraska would have generated touchdowns and touchdowns worth of offense! It’s a little bit unfortunate this happened after the string of opponents that it did - if it had happened after playing OSU, I could imagine more serious consequences. As to the point my very salty colleague before me raises about this being unlikely to be true because of the badness of the teams played by UM so far this year, I’m afraid I don’t agree with that. Recently, at the pub trivia I attend, the host instituted a “phones in basket” rule, because of suspected cheating. Like, who does that? Cheats at low-stakes pub trivia in central Nebraska? I think Jim Harbaugh would, because I think if you’re willing to cheat on things, that’s kind of just who you are, and it’s not always because you “need” to do so. Maybe it’s the thrill of not getting caught. Maybe it’s simply the way of an egomaniac. And, on a more practical level, wouldn’t you want to perfect your system before the high-stakes portion of the year? So no, Michigan didn’t “need” to cheat against any of the B1G teams they’ve faced so far. But that far from convinces me that they didn’t.
AlmaOtter: Can’t say that I’m surprised that the guy that lied to the NCAA over recruiting violations may have been involved in additional cheating-adjacent activity!