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Big Ten notifies Michigan of possible disciplinary action for in-person scouting, sign stealing: sources

Michigan received a formal notification letter from the Big Ten on Saturday regarding possible disciplinary action in response to the school’s in-person scouting and sign-stealing scandal, a university source confirmed to Athleticism Monday.

It’s unclear what that discipline might entail, but league sources have indicated a suspension of coach Jim Harbaugh is among the possibilities. Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti met with Michigan officials Friday to discuss the issue, amid calls from other Big Ten schools to punish Michigan for violating the league’s sportsmanship policy .

The NCAA is investigating whether Michigan violated an NCAA rule prohibiting in-person testing. Big Ten schools presented evidence that Michigan staffer Connor Stalions, who resigned Friday, purchased tickets in his own name for games involving Michigan opponents, and at least one of They said they have security footage of an individual in those seats filming the team’s sideline. with a smartphone.

Big Ten policy requires that Michigan be given time to respond before a sanction is imposed.

In an email to Petitti before Friday’s meeting, Michigan President Santa Ono urged the conference to defer to the NCAA’s investigation and asserted Michigan’s right to respond to any alleged violations of Big Ten politics.

“We are aware that other Big Ten representatives are demanding that you act now, ahead of any meaningful investigation and full review of all evidence,” Ono wrote. “This is not something our conference rules allow. And we both know that’s not what any other member would want if allegations were made against their staff or programs.

The Big Ten’s sportsmanship policy, which grants the commissioner the ability to take action against schools, states that the commissioner “shall notify such institution or individual as soon as reasonably possible” if it becomes clear that the school is likely to be penalized. The school then has a “reasonable” period of time to respond. League sources said Athleticism we should expect clarification by the middle of this week.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel, a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee, said earlier Monday that he would not travel to Dallas for the weekly CFP meeting. Instead, he remains in Ann Arbor “to handle important matters regarding the ongoing investigation into our football program.”

Several school sources have said so Athleticism that Michigan could file a lawsuit if the conference attempted to suspend Harbaugh indefinitely before the conclusion of the NCAA investigation.

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(Photo: Rick Osentoski / USA Today)

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