OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday he’s spoken to his brother, Jim, quite a bit, and he’s proud of how the Michigan coach has handled the sign-stealing scandal that put the program under investigation.
“His phones, his computers and all that stuff have been looked at, and he’s come through this thing with flying colors,” John Harbaugh said. “I don’t know what they are trying to get, but they don’t have anything of substance, and I just think I’m proud of him. I think it’s a real compliment to our family and to him, something for us to be proud of.”
The Big Ten Conference banned Jim Harbaugh from coaching Michigan’s final three regular-season games, saying the school violated its sportsmanship policy by conducting “an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years” that resulted in “an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of competition.”
The league did acknowledge while suspending Harbaugh last week that it had not received any information indicating he was aware of the impermissible nature of the sign-stealing scheme.
“You get kind of in this kind of a situation where you come under fire for whatever reasons, and you come out in a really good place doing the right thing all the time, and I’m really proud of that,” John Harbaugh said. “He’s a great man, he’s a great coach. His players love him. His coaches love him, and he stands tall through all this.”
The Big Ten said the suspension was meant to punish the university, not Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines are trying to challenge the punishment in court, but No. 2 Michigan was without Harbaugh when it beat Penn State last weekend to stay undefeated.
The Wolverines play at Maryland this weekend. Given that the Ravens play Thursday night against Cincinnati, John Harbaugh presumably could be free to attend Michigan’s game — or watch it with his brother if Jim still isn’t allowed on the sideline.
“I don’t know. Let’s get through Thursday night and see where we’re at,” John Harbaugh said. “But I’ll definitely be pulling for him, and then the whole team on Saturday for sure.”
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