Big Ten reprimands Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh for criticizing officials

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26:   Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines argues a call on the sideline during the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh argues a call on the sideline Saturday during the first half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. –Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

The Big Ten reprimanded Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and fined the school $10,000 on Monday for violating the conference’s sportsmanship policy by criticizing officials after the Ohio State game.

Harbaugh blasted the officiating after the Wolverines’ 30-27 double-overtime loss Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, saying he was “bitterly disappointed” during a lengthy rant.

He complained about an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty he drew in the second half of the game when he tossed headphones and a play card, a pass interference against Michigan that prolonged a key drive for the Buckeyes and a non-call of pass interference against Ohio State. He was most ardent about the spot of a fourth-down play that gave the Buckeyes a first down in overtime when a stop would have won the game for the Wolverines.

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Ohio State scored the winning touchdown on the next play.

The Big Ten cited its sportsmanship policy in punishing Harbaugh, saying his comments were in violation of a portion that states in part that “The Big Ten Conference expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship. Such fundamental elements include integrity of competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials.”

The statement said the conference would have no further comment.

Michigan’s loss to the Buckeyes prevented the Wolverines from earning a spot in the Big Ten title game and likely ended their hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff.

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