Mich. coach Harbaugh misses Penn State game as court declines to block suspension

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh missed Saturday's game against Penn State after a state court declined to issue an injunction blocking his suspension for alleged sign-stealing. File Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI

Nov. 11 (UPI) -- University of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh was not on the sidelines of the Wolverines' game against Penn State on Saturday after legal efforts to block his suspension were delayed until next week.

The Big Ten suspended Harbaugh for the remainder of the season on Friday amid an ongoing investigation into a sign-stealing ring, but school officials quickly sought an immediate injunction against the enforcement of the ban in Washtenaw. Mich., County Circuit Court.

Shortly before the 12 p.m. ET kickoff in State College, Pa., however, the school confirmed the court would not hold a hearing on the injunction until Friday, meaning Harbaugh would miss the game and offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore would serve as the interim head coach.

"We look forward to presenting our case next week where we intend to demonstrate that the Big Ten has not acted legally or fairly," the university said in a statement issued to the Detroit Free Press.

Under the teams of the suspension, Harbaugh is banned from the game venue for the Wolverines' final three games of the regular season but may attend other team-related activities such as practices.

The Big Ten said it meted out the punishment after determining the third-ranked Wolverines gained an unfair advantage over upcoming competitors by stealing their signs while watching them play other opponents.

In seeking a restraining order, the school and Harbaugh argued that the suspension should be put on hold while the court decided the merits of the case in part because it is premature -- an NCAA investigation into the sign-stealing allegations remains incomplete.

Harbaugh claims he had no knowledge of any alleged sign-stealing scheme and has denied ever telling any staff members to break sportsmanship rules.