Following a decision from the Big Ten to suspend Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh from coaching in each of the final three games of the Wolverines’ regular season, and subsequent court action, the coach will remain sidelined Saturday when Michigan takes on Penn State.
Following the suspension, lawyers for both Harbaugh and the University of Michigan filed a Complaint and Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the conference and commissioner Tony Petitti. The pleadings, filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, sought to immediately bar enforcement of the suspension through the imposition of a TRO.
However according to reports, Washtenaw County Circuit Court has declined to intervene in the matter ahead of Saturday’s game against Penn State, instead setting the matter in for a hearing on the merits for next Friday, before the Wolverines play Maryland:
There will be no ruling today on the Jim Harbaugh temporary restraining order.— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) November 11, 2023
A hearing on the matter is expected to be held in Washtenaw County (Michigan) this coming Friday, sources tell Yahoo Sports.
“We look forward to presenting our case next week where we intend to demonstrate that the Big Ten has not acted legally or fairly,” Michigan said in a statement provided to Yahoo Sports.
As a basis for their motion for a TRO, the attorneys for Harbaugh and the school pointed to the “irreparable harm” associated with the suspension coming just hours before the Wolverines were set to take on Penn State on the road:
The irreparable harm argument is key to Michigan's TRO: "It is impossible to quantify the entirety of the significant harm that will befall the University absent injunctive relief, but there can be no doubt that the University, its students, and the community will suffer greatly.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 11, 2023
The motion also highlighted the “irreparable harm” to Harbaugh himself:
From the TRO Motion: "This is to say nothing of the irreparable harm suspension will cause Coach Harbaugh personally. No more dramatic blow could be given to his character and reputation that the permanent lifetime label of “missing in action” because of a purported—but still…— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) November 11, 2023
However, with the court deciding not to intervene in the matter, Harbaugh will be away from the team as the Wolverines — currently ranked No. 2 in the country — take on ninth-ranked Penn State on the road. Offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore will serve as Michigan’s head coach in Saturday’s game.