Jim Harbaugh stands firm in his belief in his team.
Expressing confidence in his team’s destined greatness, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh spoke to reporters, including The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, following a triumphant win during the first game of his three-game suspension imposed by the Big Ten.
“They’ve gotta be America’s team,” Harbaugh asserted. “America loves a team that beats the odds, beats the adversity, overcomes what the naysayers, critics, and so-called experts think. That’s my favorite kind of team.”
Harbaugh’s absence from the victory over Penn State was a result of the Big Ten’s three-game suspension, stemming from the program’s violation of the league’s sportsmanship policy. In a letter, conference commissioner Tony Petitti stated that sufficient information from the NCAA and other conference teams revealed a former Michigan staff member’s infringement, compromising the integrity of this year’s games by scouting opponents’ signals in advance.
Identified as the instigator of the in-person scouting operation, Michigan staffer Connor Stalions resigned. Stalions allegedly procured tickets for games featuring upcoming Michigan opponents, dispatching individuals to film the sideline and discern each team’s signals.
Harbaugh intends to attend a Friday court hearing, where arguments will be presented for a restraining order to nullify the Big Ten’s three-game suspension.
“I’m going to talk on Friday,” Harbaugh said, according to ESPN’s Dan Murphy. “I’m just looking forward to that opportunity – due process. I’m not looking for special treatment, not looking for a popularity contest, just looking for the merit of what the case is.”
Following the suspension announcement, both Harbaugh and Michigan filed a complaint against the Big Ten and its commissioner. The hearing on the school’s plea to overturn Harbaugh’s suspension is scheduled at the Washtenaw County Courthouse in Ann Arbor. Harbaugh learned about the suspension via social media as the team traveled to Pennsylvania.
While uncertain about presenting his case to the judge, Harbaugh is eager to attend the proceedings in person.
“I’ve always felt like it’d be cool to get up there and thunder away at a jury like Tom Cruise in ‘A Few Good Men’ or be a judge. Alas, I did not go to law school,” Harbaugh remarked. “This will be the first time I’ve ever really been in this situation.”
As the Wolverines (10-0) gear up for a road game against Maryland, the 59-year-old continues to lead the team during the week within the confines of his suspension.
In the event Harbaugh cannot return for the upcoming matchup, offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore will remain the interim head coach after successfully guiding the Wolverines to victory in Harbaugh’s absence.