Michigan football now on probation, but the "hammer" still isn't coming

The NCAA and Michigan agreed to a joint resolution that was announced Monday regarding "burger gate" but it amounted to a slap on the wrist.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks during the national championship celebration at Crisler
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks during the national championship celebration at Crisler / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

One NCAA investigation down, one to go for Michigan football. The NCAA and Michigan announced a joint resolution to the "burger gate" issue on Monday. The Wolverines have been placed on probation for three years after having committed multiple recruiting violations.

There will be some recruiting restrictions. Michigan football already self-imposed some penalties such as limiting unofficial visits. Five individuals also got show-cause penalties according to the NCAA but none of them will miss any more games.

Jim Harbaugh was absent from the agreement. His lawyer confirmed that Harbaugh wrote a "lengthy" response to the NCAA but that wasn't published which he called "unfortunate". The NCAA can pursue separate punishment against Harbaugh, just like it can down the road for sign gate for violation of the head coach responsibility rule.

But the sign gate rule itself is a minor violation. That's if it can be proven. There has been a lot more conjecture than there has been actual evidence. Connor Stalions doesn't work for the program and didn't for most of the 2023 season.

It's likely that he will get a show-cause penalty. i'm sure the NCAA would love to give Harbaugh another if it can, but it's hard to see how that will impact Michigan football.

The "burger gate" thing was just wrapped up now, but is from 2020 and it was about Harbaugh buying kids some hamburgers, and other outside contacts, but nothing major. If Harbaugh cooperated with NCAA investigators, it would have been swept under the rug.

I'm sure there will be another fine down the road. Maybe a reduction of scholarships or something or more recruiting restrictions but with NIL, those matter less and less by the day. The idea that games would be vacated is a pipe dream and frankly, only for the delusional.

There is no precedent for that. That only happens if you use ineligible players. Michigan didn't do that and even if the NCAA proves it did violate the in-person scouting rule, the NCAA said when it nearly overturned it a few years back, that it "offers minimal competitive advantage." The NCAA President also said Michigan football won the national title "Fair and Square."


So rival fans need to get over "the hammer dropping." It's not happening. But even if it did, it still wouldn't matter.