Every single passing day seems to reveal a new and very interesting wrinkle in the Michigan sign-stealing scandal. Late Wednesday night, Michigan decided that it would not challenge the Big Ten's ruling of a three-game suspension of its head coach Jim Harbaugh. This is because new Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti had some pretty damning evidence against Michigan's case in this mess.
Friday morning gave us two more delicious nuggets in this with linebackers coach Chris Partridge being fired for essentially tampering with the investigation. Former Michigan staffer Connor Stalions did mention in his resignation letter that he was closest to Partridge and special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh on the Michigan staff. Then, Bruce Feldman gave us another huge nugget on Saturday.
"Uncle T" shenanigans aside, Feldman reported that if Harbaugh were to return to the sidelines in Ann Arbor next year, he could potentially be suspended for the bulk of the 2024 college football season. The bulk seems to mean more than six, but probably around eight games. At that point, it would be shocking to no one if Harbaugh decided he was done with college ball and headed back to the NFL.
Here is Feldman telling his FOX Sports colleague Rob Stone on Big Noon Kickoff what all is going on.
Harbaugh had great success previously with the San Francisco 49ers before taking over at Michigan.
CFB insider reveals how long Jim Harbaugh could be suspended in 2024
Even though Michigan backed down with regard to Harbaugh's three-game suspension levied by the Big Ten, it would not shock me to see the university fight tooth and nail with the NCAA over this. We cannot trust the NCAA to do the right thing, as this organization has completely failed student-athletes for the better part of a generation now, and can never seem to get any punishment right.
Harbaugh potentially being suspended for the bulk of next year leads me to believe this could go the way of Pete Carroll at USC. Carroll wanted to hire another coach on his staff, despite already being at the limit. He did it anyway, USC got burned and he left to go be the Seattle Seahawks head coach, a post he still occupies to this day. I would expect Harbaugh to leave for the NFL if it goes this way.
The bigger question besides who could replace him is where could he conceivably go in the NFL. He played for the Chicago Bears, as he was drafted by them out of Michigan in the 1980s. Harbaugh also got his coaching start serving as Bill Callahan's quarterbacks coach on the then-Oakland Raiders. Las Vegas has a head coaching vacancy. It would not be shocking if Matt Eberflus is out at season's end.
Frankly, any punishment Harbaugh receives beyond this year is more ammunition to get him to leave.