UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After rumors swirled that Jim Harbaugh would be on the sidelines for the Penn State game, it turned out Michigan football was unable to get a ruling on the temporary restraining order.
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel issued a statement on the Big Ten suspension. You can read the full thing below:
Statement from athletic director Warde Manuel on Friday’s Big Ten Decision:
“I want to make it clear at the outset of this statement that no one at the University of Michigan is happy to hear of the allegations and preliminary evidence that has come forth about in-person scouting and sign stealing by a member of our football program. No one. We, like every institution in this country, preach and educate all of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, to adhere to rules and ask questions if something is unclear.
“However, no one here, and no one at other universities around this country, wants to be convicted and penalized without due process of a complete investigation and with significant harm to our student-athletes. This is a fundamental principle of our justice, NCAA and, until yesterday, our conference systems. Sadly, that is not what happened yesterday.
“Yesterday, under the guise of the NCAA Rule regarding Head Coach Responsibility the Big Ten decided to penalize Coach Harbaugh without knowing all the facts, and I find that completely unethical, insulting to a well-established process within the NCAA, and an assault on the rights of everyone (especially in the Big Ten) to be judged by a fair and complete investigation. Not liking someone or another university or believing without any evidence that they knew or saying someone should have known without an investigation is not grounds to remove someone from their position before the NCAA process has reached a conclusion through a full NCAA investigative process.
“All of the Head Coaches in the Big Ten (some who have been accused of actively participating in the trading of signals of opponents) and my Big Ten AD colleagues can rejoice today that someone was “held accountable,” but they should be worried about the new standard of judgment (without complete investigation) that has been unleashed in this conference.
“You may have removed him from our sidelines today, but Jim Harbaugh is our head football coach. We look forward to defending Jim’s right to coach our football team at the hearing on Friday. He has instilled his pride, passion, and the team’s belief in themselves to achieve greatness. I will continue to support Jim throughout this process, my coaches and staff, and especially our student-athletes as we continue to play this game and fight to win for Michigan and all who love us.”