Source: Harbaugh denies lie allegation; talks halt

by Ricardo Gutierrez - During an attempt to expedite a resolution, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh refused to acknowledge that he lied to NCAA investigators, a source told ESPN.

Source: Jim Harbaugh's refusal delays NCAA case for Michigan play Michigan's Matt Weiss put on leave amid police investigation (2:00) Dan Murphy reports on Michigan co-offensive coordinator Matt Weiss being under investigation for a computer-access crime. (2:00) 2:40 PM ET Pete ThamelESPN Michigan 's NCAA infractions case projects a prolonged path to resolution after football coach Jim Harbaugh's refusal to acknowledge he lied to NCAA investigators during multiple meetings with the NCAA this week, a source confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. In an attempt to expedite the case and achieve a "negotiated resolution," Harbaugh refused to acknowledge he lied to NCAA investigators, a source confirmed. He's maintained that he doesn't remember the incident in question, which has led to a standstill in the case. Yahoo Sports first reported these details, which included two meetings with the NCAA this week. An admission that Harbaugh lied would have led to him likely accepting a multiple-game suspension, as he faces a potential Level 1 NCAA violation. The initial investigation into Michigan included four Level II recruiting violations, which are less significant in scope and punishment. But the potential Level 1 was added, as ESPN previously reported , as part of a more serious charge for not cooperating with the NCAA enforcement staff. This presents an interesting standoff between Harbaugh and the NCAA, one that could potentially drag out for nearly a year, per the typical NCAA enforcement and appeals timeline. For now, there appears little chance for a negotiated resolution, a source told ESPN. This means Michigan faces the belabored proceedings of an NCAA case, with the specter of Harbaugh's expected multi-game suspension likely looming over the start of the 2024 season. There's little chance that NCAA enforcement can execute the case prior to the start of the 2023 season. ESPN confirmed Yahoo's reporting that there's essentially an impasse between Harbaugh and the NCAA, as Harbaugh says he doesn't recall the incident in question and the NCAA is insisting he lied. That leaves Michigan facing an infractions process that's counter to the program's preferred "Michigan Man" image of integrity. Since an undefeated regular season in 2022, thumping of Ohio State in Columbus and winning the Big Ten title and losing in the College Football Playoff to TCU , Michigan has been mired in controversy. Harbaugh interviewed for the Denver Broncos job, but then communicated with his president -- not athletic director Warde Manuel -- that he intends to stay. The announcement of Harbaugh staying came from university president Santa Ono's Twitter feed, fueling the notion there's a rift between Harbaugh and Manuel. Harbaugh doubled down on that by mentioning Ono by name in his statement and leaving out Manuel. While Harbaugh's return has been celebrated, there's been nothing new that's emerged contractually to back up the words. Along with the NCAA drama and Harbaugh's annual dance with the NFL, Michigan put co-offensive coordinator Matt Weiss on leave amid a police investigation into a "report of computer access crimes" at the team's football facility. His future with the program is uncertain, as Weiss told ESPN he's cooperating fully with the legal investigation.