Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh pushed back against multiple reports that a contract extension is being withdrawn or at least put on hold due to the ongoing sign-stealing investigation, telling reporters he “wouldn’t say that’s accurate.”
He added it is against policy to talk about ongoing contract negotiations.
The NCAA is looking into the situation that includes potential recording of opponents’ sideline audio as well as unauthorized scouting.
Staff member Connor Stalions, the main figure in the alleged sign-stealing activities, has been suspended.
Under Harbaugh, the Wolverines have won 33 of their past 36 games and made the College Football Playoff twice. They are 8-0 (5-0 Big Ten) this season and, after having this past Saturday off, play Purdue Nov. 4.
Among the many details reported by various outlets, Sports Illustrated cited sources claiming Michigan’s ball boys on the opponent sideline listened to play calls and relayed the information. SI said the ball boys would hold a football in one hand for “run” and the other hand for “pass” plays.
At the outset of the investigation, Harbaugh issued a denial.
“I do not have any knowledge or information regarding the University of Michigan football program illegally stealing signals, nor have I directed staff members or others to participate in an off-campus scouting assignment,” he said.
“I have no awareness of anyone on our staff having done that or having directed that action.”
On Monday he referenced that statement, adding that he’s not focusing on the investigation.
“We’re in an onward mode,” he said.
The contract extension reports said the potential deal would make Harbaugh the highest-paid coach in college football.
–Field Level Media