Michigan AD issues scathing statement on B1G's verdict
Michigan AD Warde Manuel is blasting the Big Ten for the decision to suspend Jim Harbaugh for the remainder of the regular season due to the NCAA’s investigation into the allegations of in-person scouting of other teams and illicit sign stealing.
In a scathing statement towards the Big Ten, Manuel begins by expressing Michigan’s disappointment from receiving the allegations.
Statement from Michigan AD Warde Manuel pic.twitter.com/sftsPWmiOt
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“I want to make it clear at the outset of this statement that no one at the University of Michigan is happy to hear of the allegations and preliminary evidence that has come forth about in-person scouting and sign stealing by a member of our football program,” Manuel said. “No one. We, like every institution in this country, preach and educate all of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff, to adhere to rules and ask questions if something is unclear.”
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Yet, Manuel goes on to lambast the Big Ten for intervening before due process.
“However, no one here, and no one at other universities around this country, wants to be convicted and penalized without due process of a complete investigation and with significant harm to our student-athletes,” Manuel said. “This is a fundamental principle of our justice, NCAA and, until yesterday, our conference systems. Sadly, that is not what happened yesterday.”
Manuel adds that this verdict is “unethical” and disingenuous.
“Yesterday, under the guise of the NCAA Rule regarding Head Coach Responsibility the Big Ten decided to penalize Coach Harbaugh without knowing all the facts, and I find that completely unethical, insulting to a well-established process within the NCAA, and an assault on the rights of everyone (especially in the Big Ten) to be judged by a fair and complete investigation,” Manuel said.
Manuel believes the Big Ten isn’t acting in good faith.
“Not liking someone or another university or believing without any evidence that they knew or saying someone should have known without an investigation is not grounds to remove someone from their position before the NCAA process has reached a conclusion through a full NCAA investigative process,” Manuel said.
Manuel lobs a shot at the opposing Big Ten programs who he believes will suffer future consequences as well from this.
“All of the Head Coaches in the Big Ten (some who have been accused of actively participating in the trading of signals of opponents) and my Big Ten AD colleagues can rejoice today that someone was “held accountable,” but they should be worried about the new standard of judgment (without complete investigation) that has been unleashed in this conference,” Manuel said.
Manuel concludes by pledging his support for Harbaugh, who begins his suspension as No. 3 Michigan plays at No. 10 Penn State in a key conference matchup on Saturday.
“You may have removed him from our sidelines today, but Jim Harbaugh is our head football coach. We look forward to defending Jim’s right to coach our football team at the hearing on Friday. He has instilled his pride, passion, and the team’s belief in themselves to achieve greatness,” Manuel said. “I will continue to support Jim throughout this process, my coaches and staff, and especially our student-athletes as we continue to play this game and fight to win for Michigan and all who love us.”