Big Ten ADs reportedly meeting about Michigan football on Thursday

Warde Manuel (Detroit Free Press)
Warde Manuel (Detroit Free Press) /

A new report states that athletic directors of the Big Ten conference will meet to discuss Michigan football on Thursday. 

I have never used the term witch hunt in my life. But this whole “investigation” into Michigan football feels like just that — a witch hunt.

That’s because folks are trying to reach the punishment phase of the investigation before any sort of fact-finding has actually been done.

Sure, there have been lots of media reports, citing “sources.” But many of these “sources” seem to have an Ohio State slant to them and there’s no question that the Buckeyes have been pushing this narrative from day one.

“Sources” told ESPN’s Pete Thamel, that Big Ten coaches, who clearly would gain a lot if Michigan were punished before the end of the season, especially Penn State and Ohio State, want to see Michigan punished.

Anonymous sources are fine. It’s part of the business. But journalists should be asking about the motives of these “sources” which isn’t happening. These reporters, like Pete Thamel, are telling one side of the story and it’s a story that helps one program: Ohio State.

Yet, some of the allegations made by these “sources” aren’t based in fact, such as saying Michigan football knew when it was going to be a run or pass. Not a single report has indicated that except the fabrication that ball boys were in on sign-stealing (no evidence has backed that up, again this is from an anonymous source at one Big Ten school).

Adam Rittenberg reports that Big Ten athletic directors will meet on Thursday and it’s up to Warde Manuel to come out firing. This is getting insane. There hasn’t even been a notice of allegations and the Big Ten hasn’t even done its own investigation.

It’s unlikely that can happen before the end of the season and unless the finger-pointing of rivals with a lot to gain is treated as fact, I don’t see the Big Ten acting (yet). Not without Michigan taking some legal recourse.

Regardless of how this meeting shakes out, prepare yourself for more headlines from ESPN about how Michigan football needs to be punished right now.