Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images
Michigan football quarterback J.J. McCarthy and many of his teammates are unified in their response to the Big Ten’s decision to suspend head coach Jim Harbaugh for three games.
ashlyn ◡̈ @AshlynKonieczka
The same goes for seven-time Super Bowl champion and ex-Wolverine signal-caller Tom Brady:
Tom Brady @TomBrady
On Friday, the conference announced that Michigan must compete without Harbaugh for the rest of the regular season, although he will still be allowed to lead the team during practices.
The Big Ten stated that the football program was “found in violation of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy for conducting an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years, resulting in an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of competition.”
Michigan will fight back against the suspension decision, per ESPN’s Pete Thamel and Dan Murphy:
Pete Thamel @PeteThamel
Michigan confirms in a statement that it will “seek a court order” to fight a decision from the Big Ten that it calls “hasty” and claims it violates the “Conference’s own handbook.” Story w/@DanMurphyESPN on next legal steps. https://t.co/dGHWTnqqv5
The news comes one day before the No. 3 Wolverines play the No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions in Happy Valley.
Michigan players have clearly been unified in defense of Harbaugh before, most notably after the school self-imposed a three-game suspension of him for recruiting violations.
That cost Harbaugh the first chunk of the 2023 season. In response, Michigan offensive players held up the No. 4 in line and in unison before the first play of its second drive against East Carolina en route to a 30-3 win.
Bleacher Report @BleacherReport
Michigan players hold up four fingers in a line formation to honor Jim Harbaugh 👀
Coach Harbaugh is suspended and is not present at the game.
Harbaugh notably wore No. 4 when he starred at quarterback for Michigan in the mid-1980s.
Before that ECU game, McCarthy also wore a “Free Harbaugh” shirt.
FOX College Football @CFBONFOX
J.J. McCarthy is wearing a “FREE HARBAUGH” shirt while warming up for Michigan 〽️👀 pic.twitter.com/tKbCQEsMj6
The stakes are a bit higher now with the undefeated Wolverines controlling their own destiny for a Big Ten title and a College Football Playoff berth.
We’ll see if Michigan has any on-field or gameday plans to support Harbaugh soon enough with the Wolverines kicking off against Penn State at noon ET on Saturday.