Jim Harbaugh will not be with the Michigan Wolverines for the first three games of the 2023 college football season. Prior to the start of the year, the university self-imposed a three-game suspension for their longtime coach, which means that he will have to watch as the Wolverines play East Carolina, UNLV, and Bowling Green.
ESPN has reported that this was all done to hopefully “soften the potential ruling from the NCAA” that is expected to come in 2024 for alleged recruiting violations during the COVID dead period in 2020. But no matter what, Wolverines players are very unhappy that this is a problem at all, and as a result, they used Saturday’s season opener against the Pirates to show support for their coach.
This extended to the team’s first offensive snap of the game. Instead of breaking the huddle and going up to the line of scrimmage, Wolverines players lined up in a straight line, held up four fingers — the number he wore during his playing days in Ann Arbor — and then lined up.
“I will continue to do what I always tell our players and my kids at home, ‘Don’t get bitter, get better,’” Harbaugh said in a statement of his suspension.
Harbaugh will return for the team’s fourth game of the season, which is a home tilt against Rutgers.