The Detroit News and The Michigan Daily first revealed that the University of Michigan had received a formal notice of charges from the NCAA earlier this week for potential recruiting infractions during a 2020 dead period.
Jim Harbaugh, the coach of Michigan, has been found guilty of one Level I violation—hindering an ongoing investigation—and four Level II violations—improper recruitment and usage of assistant coaches—now that the NCAA has officially substantiated the charges.
The University has ninety days from the date of the allegations to provide a written response. When the NCAA’s fact-finding investigation is over, Michigan will have two choices. It may choose to accept the NCAA’s conclusions and move on with a summary disposition; subsequently, the imposition of additional sanctions will be determined. Alternatively, the University might contest the results and ask for a hearing before the Committee on Infractions of the NCAA.
Amidst a turbulent year for Harbaugh and his staff, an update has been provided on the multi-year investigation into the Wolverines. This season, Harbaugh has been suspended for six games; three of his absences were brought on by internal choices. Michigan Athletics’ actions were generally perceived as an attempt to mitigate the consequences of an NCAA sanction, even though they had nothing to do with the NCAA’s inquiry.
The well-known Wolverines issue is nearing a resolution that could or might not involve sanctions, starting with the notice of complaints. The NCAA is currently looking into Michigan’s second well-known sign theft incident, but no additional action has been taken.
In any case, Harbaugh’s availability for the College Football Playoffs won’t be impacted by the charges’ notice; but, the outcome in the upcoming months can result in an additional NCAA disciplinary penalty.
Michigan National Signing Day capsule: WR I’Marion Stewart
Numerous players from the Chicagoland area were recruited by Michigan and went on to become important members of the squad. In an effort to maintain that pipeline, the Wolverines and wide receivers coach Ron Bellamy extended an offer for the explosive 6-foot-1, 180-pound wide out I’Marion Stewart back in April 2022. During his repeated visits to campus, Bellamy developed a close relationship with the gifted young player, even though he was being recruited nationally and several elite colleges were vying for his talents. This was especially true after Bellamy attended the Big House recruiting event for the BBQ.
When Bellamy got the playmaker hired, the staff gave him first priority. When he committed in June, the Wolverines were able to defeat offers from Wisconsin, Colorado, Georgia, Texas A&M, Miami-Florida, Oregon, and other colleges, despite the efforts of others to convince him to attend their university. With Chicago Kenwood, Stewart went on to have a great senior season that laid the foundation for his future success in Ann Arbor.
Bolingbrook’s head football coach John Ivlow, who had three years of experience with Stewart before he transferred for his senior year, claims that
He returned kicks and punts this season, and I think he caught 950 yards. He’s so outstanding that he may be the best punt returner I’ve ever had. Even on kickoffs, he will break that first tackle. He will either bounce off his thighs or truck the men who try to take him down. See if you can get him to put on another fifteen pounds before the new season begins.
Stewart told 247Sports, “It was the feeling I get from Michigan first and foremost.” It always felt like home, that’s how I felt there. Not only did they establish a bond with me, but also with my parents. Every day, they would drop over to see how we were all doing. That was undoubtedly done by Coach Moore and Coach Bellamy.”
With wide receiver Semaj Morgan, who has demonstrated his big play potential in several aspects of the game, Michigan struck gold last cycle. Every time he touches the ball, Stewart has the same explosiveness, elusiveness, and quickness to score. His skill set and game are quite versatile, making him a valuable asset both on offense and in the return game. He is a fast, twitchy athlete. In addition to adding another aspect to this offense in the return game and on special teams, Stewart has an opportunity to make an impression in his rookie season.