Jim Harbaugh and Michigan football are currently facing a myriad of NCAA violations. While the majority of the allegations are relatively minor, there is one that is more serious.
However, it reportedly stems from a hamburger— so how serious can it really be?
On Thursday night, not long after Harbaugh and the Wolverines released a joint statement about his future amidst NFL speculation, they were handed a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. The program received four Level II violations and Harbaugh received one Level I violation.
All of the alleged offenses stem from the COVID-19 recruiting period, which spanned from March of 2020 through May of 2021. During that time, coaches were not allowed to have in-person contact with recruits, under any circumstances.
Well, according to On3’s Chris Balas, Michigan did so anyway.
Apparently, two recruits who had already committed to the program stopped by Ann Arbor during the COVID-19 dead period. Balas said that the visit was “impromptu.”
With the two recruits in town, Jim Harbaugh wanted to treat them to lunch.
That, of course, violates NCAA protocol. Especially when coaches could not have in-person contact with recruits.
Despite the rules, Harbaugh reportedly took the two high schoolers out to eat at The Brown Jug. Named after the Michigan vs. Minnesota football trophy (the oldest in college football), the restaurant has been a staple in the city since 1936.
Getting a ‘Jug burger’ at ‘The Brown Jug’ is a right of passage. Harbaugh wanted to experience that moment with his two future players, so he brought them by and bought them a burger.
That was a big no-no.
Well, the NCAA reportedly found a receipt for those burgers and asked Harbaugh about the paper trail. He, according to Balas, “wasn’t completely honest about it.”
Thus, not only was it a Level II violation— the lie bumped it up to Level I for “providing false or misleading information” to the NCAA investigators.
What happens next?
This is going to drag out for awhile. Michigan and Harbaugh have 90 days to respond to the N.O.A.
From there, a lot of back and forth will unfold. He will say, she will say.
The NCAA will eventually come to a decision, and the Wolverines will likely appeal. Once that is settled, the NCAA will dole out a punishment.
Although there is know way of knowing exactly what will be decided, the punishment will presumably involve some sort of recruiting sanctions for Michigan. Perhaps a loss of scholarship.
For Harbaugh, if charged with the Level I violation, it could lead to a multi-game suspension.
Only time will tell what is to unfold, but the NCAA is on the case. Don’t worry.
No recruit shall illegally eat a hamburger!