Michigan stars, alum Tom Brady have one-word response to Jim Harbaugh’s punishment


It seems like the Michigan Wolverines are going to do their best to shake off Jim Harbaugh’s three-game ban.

The Big Ten announced on Friday that Harbaugh will be barred from the sidelines for the remainder of the regular season, stemming from the investigation into sign-stealing by the football program.

Before the Wolverines took off for Penn State (and before the punishment came down), Michigan players wore shirts that read “MICHIGAN VS EVERYBODY,” a clear message that they know they are the talk of college football, and maybe all of sports.

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J.J. McCarthy and Tom Brady (Getti Images)

But once they landed in western Pennsylvania, their current quarterback wanted to send out one more message.

Shortly after the announcement was handed down, J.J. McCarthy sent a post on X, formerly Twitter, with just one word: “Bet.”

The term has become slang for “OK,” especially when accepting a challenging.

Tom Brady, Michigan’s quarterback in the late 1990s, saw McCarthy’s post, shared it, and echoed it.

Several Wolverines posted the same message, including defensive lineman Kris Jenkins, offensive lineman Zak Zinter, defensive back Mike Sainristil and plenty of others.

The conference announced Friday that Harbaugh will not be allowed to coach for the remainder of the 2023 regular season after it said that Michigan “has been found in violation of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy for conducting an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years, resulting in an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of competition.”

Jim Harbaugh talks with J.J. McCarthy

Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines talks to J.J. McCarthy, #9, during a time-out while playing the Indiana Hoosiers at Michigan Stadium on October 14, 2023, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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Wolverines staff member Connor Stalions, who is at the center of the controversy, resigned November 3 after being initially suspended with pay during an NCAA investigation into alleged off-campus scouting and sign stealing. 

The conference said that Harbaugh will be allowed to be with the team on non-game days.

Michigan responded to the announcement with a statement of its own, saying it intends to seek a court order “preventing this disciplinary action from taking effect.”

“Like all members of the Big Ten Conference, we are entitled to a fair, deliberate and thoughtful process to determine the full set of facts before a judgment is rendered,” the school said. “Today’s action by Commissioner Tony Petitti disregards the conference’s own handbook, violates basic tenets of due process and sets an untenable precedent of assessing penalties before an investigation has been completed.”

Jim Harbaugh at warmups

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh looks on during pre-game warm-ups before an NCAA college football game against the Maryland Terrapins. (Terrance Williams for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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The third-ranked Wolverines take on No. 10 Penn State at noon Saturday. Michigan will then visit Maryland before taking on No. 1 Ohio State in Ann Arbor.

Fox News’ Joe Morgan contributed to this report.



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