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The NCAA Plays Hide and Seek with Jim Harbaugh.

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

So, lets just start off with a quick synopsis of the Harbaugh situation because by now most fans know what’s going on. As yahoo reported first, it looks like the head coach of Michigan will be suspended for the first 4 games of the 2023 Big 10 regular season. Michigan first came under investigation for 4, class 2 violations. Harbaugh was then accused of providing misleading information to the NCAA investigators regarding those allegations, making it a class 1 violation.

The punishment Harbaugh is expected to get is a 4-game suspension to start the 2023 season. The punishment is believed to be harsher due to the fact the NCAA believes Harbaugh lied to investigators. Does Jim Harbaugh deserve to be suspended for what he did? Yes [for the most part], the one thing you can’t do is lie to the NCAA. Was the punishment to harsh? Yes 4 games for saying he doesn’t remember buying a $12 burger. Some people believe he did the right thing, ESPN Paul Finebaum agrees with what Harbaugh did. He even goes as far to say “I’m starting to respect Jim Harbaugh for standing firm and refusing to go down the NCAA’s path.”

It’s not the punishment but the organization handing out the reprimand that is the problem. The NCAA who has seemingly been playing their own game of hide and seek - hand a kid a million bucks they hide, buy a kid a hamburger they will come find you. NIL and the transfer portal have turned college football into a modern-day wild west with the NCAA no where to be found. I believe some programs use NIL as nothing more than a way to pay high school kids to commit to their football program. The transfer portal is being used, by many; as a form of free agency for bigger pay days. Teams are tampering with other team’s players offering bags of cash to transfer and the NCAA does nothing about it.

The NCAA seems to hit one program while closing a blind eye to others. From the way it looks the NCAA wants nothing to do with policing things, i.e., NIL asking the government to step-in to set-up guidelines. If the NCAA doesn’t want the responsibility of enforcing all the rules, then just walk away from enforcing any of them.

With Michigan losing their head coach for possibly the first 4 games, will it do anything to alter any of the goals for the upcoming season. No, the punishment should have absolutely no effect on their season. The main reason Michigan’s first 4 games of the season could be one of the easiest schedules in the country, and all 4 games are played at home in the Big House. With the first 3 games coming against group of 5 teams, to then open the Big 10 with Rutgers, I don’t think you could ask for a better situation. Frankly it could be why Michigan is pushing to get it done. With or without Harbaugh, Michigan will come in as a heavy favorite in all 4 games.

The NCAA did what they seemingly always do, they handed a punishment out that really has no consequences. All we can ask of the NCAA is to police every program fairly and consistently. If the NCAA is going enforce the rules, then do just that. If the NCAA doesn’t want to then maybe, it’s time for college football to investigate pulling away and having their own governing body.

The one thing that Michigan fans have always stood for was doing it the right way and winning the right way. As a Michigan fan I think those days are gone. If we as fans are truly being honest with ourselves, it’s now become just win and we don’t care what you do to make it happen. If you’re going to compete with the big boys, then you need to play by the same rules. Just as SEC fans have always said “if you are not cheating you are not trying.”

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