The NCAA's ongoing probe into advanced scouting by Michigan has thrown a curveball into the Wolverines' pursuit of another Big Ten title and College Football Playoff berth. It culminated with the Big Ten, on Nov. 10, suspending coach Jim Harbaugh for the team's final three games of the regular season on the basis of Michigan violating the conference's sportsmanship policy. However, the Wolverines weren't fazed by Harbaugh's absence in Week 11 as they kept their undefeated season alive with a 24-15 victory at Penn State, leading to the Michigan coach singing praises of his group Monday back in Ann Arbor. 

"Just the perseverance and the stalwartness of these guys, watching [the game] I would have to say to everybody: That's got to be America's team," Harbaugh remarked, addressing reporters for the first time since the suspension. "America loves a team that beats the odds and adversity and overcomes what the naysayers, critics and so-called experts think. That's my favorite kind of team. Watching from that view on television, it was violent. People get to see what I see everyday from these players and coaches."

Harbaugh previously had to watch Michigan from afar during the opening three weeks of the season while serving a school-imposed suspension, stemming from a separate but ongoing NCAA probe into alleged violations committed by the Wolverines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Harbaugh is accused of misleading NCAA investigators. 

Harbaugh now tracks to miss what amounts to half of Michigan's regular season with the recent punishment from the Big Ten. But as made clear during his appearance with reporters, Harbaugh and the university won't go down without a fight before the regular season ends, setting the stage for a tense battle between the conference and one of its flagship members.

Harbaugh, Manuel learned of punishment via social media 

Harbaugh says he didn't receive communication from the Big Ten of official disciplinary action until after it went public, revealing Monday that he and athletic director Warde Manuel learned of the punishment through social media, much to their dismay, as the Wolverines' team plane touched down in State College, Pennsylvania. 

While Michigan still managed for the victory agains the Nittany Lions amid the coach's first game suspended, the sloppy lines of communication from the Big Ten left a sour taste in the mouths of Harbaugh and Manuel.

"Warde was pretty, pretty upset," Harbaugh said. "He was on the plane, too. And he was pretty upset that he he heard it through social media and not through through the office, the Big Ten office."

Harbaugh to attend upcoming hearing

Harbaugh confirmed he will attend the Nov. 17 hearing for the request of a temporary restraining order against the Big Ten in wake of the suspension, calling for "due process" as the NCAA continues its probe. The Big Ten, which was provided findings from the NCAA's investigation, has not proved evidence that Harbaugh was specifically involved or knowledgeable of advanced scouting spearheaded by ex-Wolverines staffer Connor Stalions. However, the conference contended the punishment was "not a sanction of Coach Harbaugh" but rather one against the university that "best fits the violation." 

"I'm just looking for that opportunity for due process," Harbaugh said. "[I'm] not looking for special treatment or [for] a popularity contest. I'm just looking for the merit of what the case is. Senior year of high school, had a civics class and talking about government justice, and what I took away from that class was that you're innocent until proven guilty. That was 40 years ago, but I'd like that opportunity.

"I don't know exactly how it's how it's gonna go," he added. "I'm gonna be able to go though. I don't know if I'm gonna be ... that's not my dance floor. You know, I'm not the attorney."

The punishment and accompanying explanation from the Big Ten came after Michigan and Harbaugh's legal team challenged the Big Ten's authority to discipline the coach on the basis of the sportsmanship policy, though to no avail. 

Michigan has remaining games against at Maryland on Nov. 18 and at home against rival Ohio State on Nov. 25, the latter of which is set to determine the Big Ten East champion for yet another year. Harbaugh could return to action against the Terrapins depending on the result of the hearing. Otherwise, he will not be able to return until a potential Big Ten Championship Game appearance at earliest.

The NCAA's investigation into Michigan for sign-stealing is a rapidly-developing story and CBS Sports is covering it in real time. Click here for live coverage.