Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh reprimanded for critical comments of officials

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh argues with a game official in the third quarter their NCAA football game against the Ohio State Buckeyes, Saturday, November 26, 2016 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, OH. (Photo by Lon Horwedel/Icon Sportswire)
Lon Horwedel/Icon Sportswire

Michigan Wolverines’ head coach Jim Harbaugh has had a public reprimand levied against him by the Big Ten Conference for his critical comments of the officiating crew following Saturday’s loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes. The university has also been fined $10,000 for Harbaugh’s comments.

The play at hand involved Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett being ruled to have made a first down on a fourth-and-one play during the second overtime session. Replay showed Barrett bumping into the back of his offensive lineman and falling precariously close to the line to make, meaning the difference between continuing the drive and losing the game after a turnover on downs.

Following the game, Harbaugh expressed his distaste for the call that ultimately knocked his team out of both the Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff hunt. From the Big Ten Conference’s released statement on Monday: “Coaches are teachers as well, and there is an expectation that they set the example for students and others in the area of sportsmanship.”

In just his second season with the Wolverines, Harbaugh put the team on the doorstep of an appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game and potentially the College Football Playoff, having been literally one yard away.

Michigan’s next game will come during the 2016-2017 bowl season as Penn State won the Big Ten’s West division by way of tie-breaker over Ohio State. The Nittany Lions will take on the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship Game next Saturday while both the Wolverines and Buckeyes will be forced to watch the game from home.

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