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Harbaugh accepts 3-game ban, Big Ten closes investigation to resolve litigation

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Michigan, Jim Harbaugh, and the Big Ten have resolved their pending litigation, with the Wolverines head coach accepting his three-game ban through the end of the regular season and the conference agreeing to close its investigation into allegations of sign-stealing, the school announced Thursday.

Harbaugh will sit out Michigan's final two regular-season games against Maryland and Ohio State after missing last week's win over Penn State.

"Coach Harbaugh, with the university's support, decided to accept this sanction to return the focus to our student-athletes and their performance on the field," Michigan said in a statement.

"The conference has confirmed that it is not aware of any information suggesting coach Harbaugh's involvement in the allegations. The university continues to cooperate fully with the NCAA's investigation."

Harbaugh sought an injunction and a temporary restraining order to resume coaching during games, but a ruling didn't come ahead of the Penn State matchup, with an in-person hearing instead scheduled for Friday.

The Big Ten said in a statement that the agreement with Michigan "is indicative of the high standards and values that the conference and the university seek to uphold."

The Big Ten punished Harbaugh as a result of an alleged sign-stealing scheme, which took place "over multiple years, resulting in an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of competition."

Harbaugh will be able to return for the Big Ten championship game should Michigan, which sits at 10-0, qualify.

While the Big Ten closed its investigation, the NCAA's investigation into Michigan remains ongoing.

Meanwhile, Harbaugh's future with the Wolverines is once again in doubt, with the coach reportedly expected to receive consideration in the NFL's 2024 hiring cycle.

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