AP source: Michigan's Harbaugh refuses to agree on charge

Fiesta Bowl Football
Posted at 9:59 AM, Jan 20, 2023

(AP) — Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh told NCAA investigators in multiple meetings this week that he will not agree to an unethical conduct charge, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday night on condition of anonymity because details of the investigation have not been shared publicly.

Michigan announced two weeks ago that it received a notice of allegations from the NCAA that the governing body is looking into potential rules infractions within the football program.

The investigation involves impermissible texts and calls — including some by Harbaugh — to high school prospects during part of a pandemic-related dead period for contact with potential recruits. The NCAA also is looking at whether a member of Michigan’s off-field football staff violated rules by doing on-the-field coaching during practice.

Harbaugh is accused of not being forthcoming about the potential violations, and the NCAA considers that unethical conduct and a Level I infraction. A text message was sent to Harbaugh on Thursday night, seeking comment.

While the football program is dealing with an NCAA investigation, co-offensive coordinator Matt Weiss is on leave amid an investigation by university police into a report of computer access crimes over a three-day span last month at the team's training facility.

Weiss is accused of accessing email accounts at the school without proper authorization, according to another person familiar with the situation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the police investigation is ongoing.

Weiss said in a statement to ESPN that he is fully cooperating with investigators and looks forward to the matter being resolved. Weiss has not responded to messages from The Associated Press.

The Wolverines seemed to kick off their week with good news on Monday when University of Michigan President Santa Ono shared on social media that Harbaugh told him he was staying at the school, ending another round of speculation that he would go back to coaching in the NFL.

Since then, Weiss was placed on leave and reports detailing Harbaugh's stance during the NCAA inquiry have emerged.