Before new information surfaced, Michigan thought a deal to lessen Harbaugh’s suspension was…..

Michigan Believed Deal Was Possible to Reduce Harbaugh Suspension—Until New Info EmergedThe Big Ten Was Ready To Alter Jim Harbaugh's Suspension

Michigan and the conference were in talks to drop Harbaugh’s ban to two games, before Big Ten officials received new information.

Earlier this week, during settlement discussions, Michigan officials believed they could strike a deal with the Big Ten to reduce Jim Harbaugh’s suspension from three games to two—allowing Harbaugh to coach his undefeated Michigan team’s regular-season finale against Ohio State, two people familiar with the settlement talks tell Sports Illustrated.

Then Michigan learned of new information and the school agreed to drop its legal challenge and accept his three-game suspension, a person aware of the situation says.

It looked like Harbaugh was going to be back on the sidelines for Michigan’s game against Ohio State, until the Big Ten pulled its offer.

The new information did not directly implicate Harbaugh, and in its statement after the surprise settlement announcement, the Big Ten reiterated it has no evidence that Harbaugh was involved or aware of staffer Connor Stalions’s illegal signal-stealing scheme.

But it did lead to Michigan firing linebackers coach Chris Partridge, according to a person aware of the situation. Partridge is a longtime friend of Stalions. The full scope of what the NCAA shared with the Big Ten is not known.

Michigan and the Big Ten did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

In order to play Maryland on Saturday, the Wolverines left Friday afternoon for College Park. Harbaugh is expected to accompany the team but is not allowed to attend the game.

The school announced Friday that longtime college and NFL coach Rick Minter, the father of Michigan co-defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, will serve in Partridge’s place.

Harbaugh would be eligible to return to the sidelines for the Big Ten championship game if Michigan defeats Ohio State.

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