Michigan suspends offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore for violating NCAA rules

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Michigan offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore will be suspended for this week's season-opening game as part of the school's self-imposed penalties for violating NCAA rules that also led to coach Jim Harbaugh's punishment.

Harbaugh said Monday an analyst will be elevated to fill Moore's spot on the staff Saturday against East Carolina.

The school announced last week that it decided Harbaugh would serve a three-game suspension to start this season because of NCAA recruiting infractions.

“I've heard people comment it's a slap on the wrist,” he said. "It’s more like a baseball bat to the kneecaps.”

Michigan handed down Harbaugh’s punishment in an attempt to get out in front of potential NCAA sanctions related to an investigation of impermissible contact with recruits during the COVID-19 dead period.

Harbaugh and Moore, a rising star in the coaching ranks, will not be on the sideline when the second-ranked Wolverines start the season. Both will be allowed to coach on non-game days, following NCAA rules.

Harbaugh also will miss games against UNLV and Bowling Green at the Big House.

Four of Harbaugh's assistants will have an opportunity to lead the team during his suspension, he announced last week. He also named his 84-year-old father, Jack, assistant head coach and gave strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert an additional title as associate head coach.

Defensive coordinator Jesse Minter will serve as head coach in the opener. Special teams coordinator Jay Harbaugh will fill his father's role with the team in the first half of the second game while running backs coach and former Michigan star Mike Hart takes over the duties in the second half.

In his second game back from a suspension, Moore will be the head coach in the final nonconference game.

Michigan is expected to contend for a national title after winning two straight Big Ten championships and appearing in consecutive College Football Playoffs.

The school previously proposed a four-game suspension for Harbaugh as part of a negotiated resolution to the case with NCAA enforcement staff, but the association’s committee on infractions reportedly declined to accept that proposal.

Without confirming the status of the negotiated resolution, which was submitted by Michigan to the NCAA last month, the governing body put out a terse statement in response to reports that the settlement was in danger of not being accepted.

The negotiated resolution Michigan submitted to the NCAA also included one-game suspensions for Moore and tight ends coach Grant Newsome, who is not expected to be subject to a self-imposed punishment.

Michigan self-imposing a penalty for Harbaugh does not end the case. It is unclear whether Michigan has received an official notice of allegations from the NCAA. Without a negotiated resolution, the case would need to go before the committee on infractions before a ruling is handed down.

That process could take months to complete and likely would stretch into 2024. Schools usually self-impose penalties as a way to get out in front of the NCAA, show cooperation and mitigate some of the damages of an eventual punishment.

The investigation involved impermissible texts and calls — including some by Harbaugh — to high school prospects during part of a pandemic-related dead period for contact with potential recruits. The NCAA also has been looking at whether a member of Michigan’s off-field football staff violated rules by doing on-the-field coaching during practice.

Harbaugh previously told NCAA investigators in multiple meetings that he would not agree to an unethical conduct charge for not being forthright, according to two people familiar with the situation. The people spoke earlier this year to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the investigation have not been shared.


AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo in New York contributed.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25