By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Big Ten Conference hired a new Commissioner earlier this year. Their former Commissioner Kevin Warren decided to leave the conference to become the Chicago Bears President and CEO.
After Warren left, the Big Ten Conference decided to hire Tony Petitti in May. This alleged sign-stealing scheme has been in the news for weeks.
However, the NCAA has done nothing yet despite investigating the matter. The governing body has not interviewed the Michigan football coaches, according to FootballScoop.
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Yet, according to FootballScoop, the Big Ten and Petitti have forced Michigan’s hand thus far. In a tweet, the President of the NCAA, Petitti, and Michigan leadership had a call where evidence from the NCAA was discussed on October 18th.
Petitti had another call that day with the Michigan President (Santa Ono), AD (Warde Manuel), and General Counsel (Debbie Kowich). Over the next two days, the Wolverines decided to take no action against Connor Stallions, who was the alleged mastermind in a sign-stealing scheme.
Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has denied any involvement in the matter. Then, on October 20th, Petitti allegedly, according to the football coaches’ publication, asked Wolverines AD Warde Manuel if they had planned to take action against Stallions. Then, later that day, Stallions was suspended.
Initial reports suggested that Stallions was fired. However, according to Stallions and his lawyer, he stepped down from his role after being a “distraction.”
“The University’s November 8th response does not deny that the impermissible scheme occurred,” the Big Ten Conference said in a statement. “Instead, it offers only procedural and technical arguments designed to delay accountability. The University also argues that because it believes that others are engaged in decoding signs, there must be nothing wrong with the University’s activities. In addition to impermissible activities of others being current unsupported by facts, the University’s culpability is not dependent on the actions of other institutions.”
If this suspension stands, Harbaugh will miss half of the Wolverines’ 2023 games. He was suspended for the first three games of the season due to recruiting violations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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While the Big Ten Conference has suspended Harbaugh, the Wolverines will attempt to block it in court on a Holiday weekend. The conference claims that they have found the Wolverines of cheating. At this time, the evidence is just hearsay and not in the public light.
“Enforcing the Sportsmanship Policy with appropriate discipline this season in light of the University’s established violations this season is thus of the utmost importance to protect the reputation of the Conference and its member institutions and to ensure that our competitions on the field are honorable and fair.”
Yet, one has to wonder is Petitti trying to make a name for himself? Is he out to get Harbaugh and the Wolverines? The NCAA presented evidence in October and has done nothing so far. But Petitti, who has been on the job for less than a year, tried to lay down the hammer on Harbaugh.
He just made a name for himself — whether it’s good or bad. And as a result, there will be ramifications to come. According to Sports Illustrated, the Wolverines are now considering to leave the conference.
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