The NCAA is currently looking into whether the Michigan football team cheated by stealing signals. In light of this ongoing investigation, an old tweet from Jim Harbaugh has resurfaced. This tweet dates back to February 24, 2016, and it was in response to complaints from Georgia’s head coach, Kirby Smart. Kirby Smart had expressed concerns about Harbaugh bringing his Michigan team to Florida for part of its spring practice.
In the tweet, Harbaugh responded to these concerns by saying that if the Georgia coach was suggesting any wrongdoing or rule-breaking on their part, he was mistaken. However, fast forward seven and a half years, and there’s now an official inquiry to determine whether Harbaugh and his program indeed violated any rules. As a result, some people are finding humor in this old tweet considering the current situation.
If the Georgia coach is implying any intent on our part to break rules, he is barking up the wrong tree.— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 24, 2016
There is no official rule that explicitly prohibits stealing signs in sports, but using electronic means to do so is strictly forbidden. Recently, there have been reports that the NCAA is looking into whether the University of Michigan engaged in on-site scouting of their future opponents, a practice that has been prohibited since 1994. Typically, teams receive a lot of video footage to prepare for their opponents. However, the investigation is focused on whether Michigan had undisclosed individuals attend games of their upcoming opponents, including potential College Football Playoff rivals, in an attempt to gather information about the signals used for offensive and defensive plays.
Michigan’s head coach, Harbaugh, released a statement today regarding the investigation. He stated that he and his staff will fully cooperate with the inquiry. Harbaugh also emphasized that he had no knowledge or information about the University of Michigan football program being involved in sign stealing, and he did not instruct any staff members or others to engage in off-campus scouting activities.
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