Syndication: USA TODAY

The NCAA and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh appeared to be close to an agreement on a four-game suspension as punishment for multiple recruiting violations within the program, as well as the coach's misleading statements to investigators. Those negotiations have ended, according to multiple reports, and Harbaugh is expected to coach the entire 2023 season as there is not yet a resolution in the case. 

Needing only the approval of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, the deal "is now off," according to Yahoo Sports. The program's NCAA case will continue through the disciplinary system. According to Sports Illustrated, the Committee on Infractions rejected the negotiated resolution

"The Michigan infractions case is related to impermissible and off-campus recruiting during the COVID-19 dead period and impermissible coaching activities -- not a cheeseburger," the NCAA said in a statement, referencing Harbaugh's alleged hamburger purchase for a recruit.

Harbaugh's four-game suspension at the start of the season meant absences against ECU, UNLV, Bowling Green and Rutgers, all at home in the Big House. Now, he is expected to coach in every game this season for the Wolverines. 

This is not a slam dunk for Harbaugh, though. Michigan's NCAA case may not be heard again until the 2024 offseason, meaning any potential punishment would merely be delayed. 

Harbaugh is accused of providing false or misleading information to the NCAA during an investigation into alleged recruiting violations made in 2021 during an extended recruiting dead period stemming from COVID-19. 

The NCAA alleges Harbaugh lied to investigators during an initial meeting about the violations. Dishonesty to investigators is a separate Level I violation in the NCAA's rulebook. It appeared as if the parties were headed towards a resolution in the matter earlier this year; however, while those negotiations were ongoing, Harbaugh refused to sign a document admitting that he was dishonest during that first meeting.

The Wolverines coach has consistently maintained that he was not purposefully dishonest and claims he did not remember the events that led to the recruiting violations. Harbaugh's penalty will almost assuredly be harsher than what it would have been if the NCAA believed he cooperated from the onset as all four violations were of the Level II variety.

Michigan is a heavy favorite in each of those first four games of 2023, but avoiding the disruption of Harbaugh's absence will provide a boost as the Wolverines pursue a third-straight Big Ten Championship and third-straight College Football Playoff appearance.