Jim Harbaugh's lawyer rips NCAA for hypocrisy in sign-stealing scandal

The lawyer for the ex-Michigan football coach had a go at the NCAA after the body introduced new legislation pertaining to coaching practices.
Jim Harbaugh is leaving Michigan to become head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Jim Harbaugh is leaving Michigan to become head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers. / Melanie Maxwell / USA TODAY NETWORK

Jim Harbaugh's lawyer is accusing the NCAA of hypocrisy regarding the Michigan football sign-stealing scandal after the sport's governing body introduced a new proposal will allow all team personnel and analysts to provide coaching instruction during games.

The NCAA Football Oversight Committee brought forward a proposal last month that would let all staff personnel to instruct players during practices and games, with the committee set to vote on the motion in May, according to Yahoo Sports.

That news enraged Harbaugh's lawyer, Tom Mars.

"Here we go again," Mars said on X/Twitter. "Michigan just entered into a negotiated resolution with the NCAA pleading 'guilty' to errant analysts giving instructions on the field and was punished accordingly. A week later, the NCAA issues a proposal to change the rules to allow analysts to do just that."

Back in October, the NCAA announced that it opened an investigation into Michigan allegedly using improper methods to scout opponents and steal their football signals. But while sign-stealing is somewhat common in football, off-campus and in-person scouting of future opponents is prohibited.

That's what the NCAA alleged former Wolverines staffer Connor Stalions was accused of doing, and he resigned his position with the football program as a result of the revelations.

Harbaugh denied knowledge of any impermissible activities relating to the NCAA's investigation regarding sign-stealing allegations.

Michigan self-imposed a three-game suspension that kept Harbaugh off the sideline for the first three games of the season for violating recruiting regulations back during the Covid period, and the Big Ten suspended Harbaugh another three games over the sign-stealing allegations.

But despite the attention from the sport's governing body all last season, Michigan went on to an undefeated season, a third-straight Big Ten title, and the school's 12th national championship.

Harbaugh moved out of the NCAA's jurisdiction for good this offseason by taking the head coaching position with the Los Angeles Chargers, thus avoiding any potential future NCAA sanctions.


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James Parks


James Parks is the founder and publisher of College Football HQ. He previously covered football for 247Sports and CBS Interactive. College Football HQ joined the Sports Illustrated Fannation Network in 2022.