Michigan football’s Jim Harbaugh won’t admit he lied to NCAA investigators

Negotiations between the NCAA and the University of Michigan have hit a snag because Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh will not admit he lied to investigators.

The Free Press has confirmed a Yahoo! Sports report stating that Harbaugh does not believe he knowingly misled the NCAA, a Level I violation, and will not sign anything admitting such.

The sources, granted anonymity because they are not at liberty to publicly discuss the negotiations, told the Free Press that things are at a stand off right now and that it’s not clear what will happen next.

The Yahoo report said that Harbaugh did admit to the Level II violations, which the NCAA charged the football program with earlier this month, and that the head coach has apologized to the university for.

Earlier this week, university president Santa Ono announced that Harbaugh, 59, would be returning to U-M for his ninth season as head coach, which Harbaugh later confirmed via social media. Sources told the Free Press that the two sides are working on a contract extension that will include a bigger salary and a bigger buyout, designed to deter further dalliances with the NFL. Harbaugh reportedly had conversations with several NFL teams after Michigan’s second straight Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff berth last year.

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Harbaugh, who signed a new contract extension 11 months ago after interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings but not receiving a formal job offer, made approximately $8 million in salary and $2 million in performance bonuses in 2022.

Punishment by the NCAA for the Level I violation could include a suspension for a game or multiple games.

The Free Press confirmed the Level II violations are for recruiting violations and having too many coaches working with players.

The NCAA revised its levels of infractions in April 2019 to give coaches more personal responsibility for violations while doubling the categories of classifications of violations. U-M, which received the notice of allegations on Jan. 5, was given 90 days to respond to the NCAA. That could include self-imposed punishments for the program and/or Harbaugh. After Michigan’s response, the NCAA has another 90 days to respond with additional charges or punishments before the case goes to the organization’s infractions committee. With a variety of potential hearings and responses, it could take years before the NCAA’s ruling is complete, depending on Michigan’s response.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan football’s Jim Harbaugh won’t admit he lied to NCAA

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