Jim Harbaugh Reprimanded, Michigan Fined for HC's Criticism of Officials

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2016

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26:   Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines argues a call on the sideline during the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Big Ten announced Monday it publicly reprimanded Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh and fined the school $10,000, according to Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee.

Harbaugh was critical of the officiating in Michigan's 30-27 double-overtime defeat against the Ohio State Buckeyes, per Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com:

I'm bitterly disappointed in the officiating. Can't make that any more clear.


Two penalties called all day [on Ohio State]. Multiple holding penalties let go, multiple false starts. The official on my side, who is supposed to be watching that, is concerned about whether our coaches are in the [coaches' box] or not. Their coaches were on the field, practically in the huddle at times.

Wolverines fans were particularly incensed with the spot of the ball after J.T. Barrett's one-yard run on fourth down in double overtime. The Buckeyes picked up a first down after officials reviewed the play and determined the call on the field should stand.

ESPN.com's Bill Barnwell thought Harbaugh and Michigan's collective frustration was misplaced since the Wolverines had allowed Curtis Samuel to gain eight yards on the previous play:

Harbaugh also pointed out what he felt were bad calls earlier in the game, according to USA Today's Nicole Auerbach. He highlighted a pass interference penalty on safety Delano Hill in the fourth quarter as well as an incident in which the Ohio State defense impeded wideout Grant Perry on a pass in the second overtime.

Given the stakes of the game, it's easy to see why Harbaugh was so upset. With two losses, Michigan will have a hard time getting into the College Football Playoff.

Should Colorado beat Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game, the Wolverines may secure a semifinal berth. In that scenario, they will have beaten the Pac-12 champion as well as the Big Ten champion—be it Wisconsin or Penn State.