The University of Michigan Wolverines football team has been very successful.
The University of Michigan Wolverines football team has been very successful.
Photo Credit: The Michigan Daily

The University of Michigan’s football team under investigation

The University of Michigan, in recent years, has become a well recognized football powerhouse. While always a prominent football school, for the past two years the Michigan Wolverines have won the Big 10 championship. They are currently on a three year winning streak against their longtime rival Ohio State. All of this has culminated in Michigan being ranked No.2 in college football this year, with them being expected to make it to the championship game. However, Michigan has been rocked with controversy this year. Jim Harbaugh, head football coach of the Michigan Wolverines, has faced not one but two suspensions this year. 

In September, the NCAA began their investigation into recruiting methods used by Harbaugh during  the pandemic. It came out that although the NCAA had banned in-person recruiting and scouting during the pandemic due to risks of spreading COVID 19, Harbaugh had ignored these rules and violated them. The University of Michigan suspended Harbaugh for three games. Michigan easily won all three games during Harbaugh’s suspension. This suspension was viewed as Michigan’s way of acknowledging what Harbaugh had done as wrong and that they were condemning his actions. 

University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh. Photo Credit: ESPN

Later on in the fall, the NCAA began investigating some claims that Michigan was stealing signs. Stealing signs as defined by The New Yorker is “deciphering the coded signals that Michigan’s opponents use to communicate with players on the field. “ A man identified as Connor Stallions, who worked for Michigan Football as an analyst, was purchasing tickets to games of Michigan’s opponents, giving the tickets to associates, and getting these associates to take videos of the opponents signs and send them back to him to analyze. Stallions has reportedly been stealing signs since 2019. As a result of this controversy and investigation, Harbaugh was again suspended for three games. He missed out on the eagerly anticipated Michigan-Ohio State game, with interim coach Sherrone Moore coaching the Wolverines to their 3rd annual victory over the Buckeyes instead. 

 The suspension has some people angry, seeing as Harbaugh has no connection with the sign stealing controversy. They feel that the punishment should be directed at Connor Stallions. Connor Stallions did resign from his job with the Michigan Wolverines. Harbaugh will return the sidelines of the football field this weekend, for the Big 10 Championship game between Michigan and the University of Iowa. 

Economics teacher and avid football fan Beth Chase says “I feel the Michigan players should be allowed to celebrate their wins.  They have worked hard to achieve their success.  It is what happens on the field that matters.  You can have a great coach but unless the players work hard and as a team then then they will not succeed.  What the coach is accused of doing should not reflect on his players or their abilities.”

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