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Jim Harbaugh is requesting contractual protection from potential NCAA punishment amid negotiations with Michigan as he simultaneously pursues NFL opportunities, according to Yahoo Sports. Harbaugh, 60, just led Michigan to its first national championship since 1997, but it was a tumultuous season off the field marked by two separate three-game suspensions for the Wolverines alum.

As part of a restructured deal with the school, Harbaugh is requesting wording that would keep him from being fired as a result of those matters. Both issues resulting in the suspensions remain under investigation by the NCAA, meaning Harbaugh could still face additional sanctions if he remains in college football

The NCAA issued a notice of allegations in December that included a Level I allegation against Harbaugh for misleading investigators as it pertained to alleged recruiting violations. The Wolverines took the mitigating step of suspending Harbaugh for the first three games of the 2023 season, but it's uncertain whether that step will be enough to satisfy the NCAA. 

Michigan also remains under investigation as it relates to the sign-stealing scandal that engulfed the program during the latter half of the 2023 season. In that case, the Big Ten issued a three-game suspension of Harbaugh covering the conclusion of the regular season. The NCAA has yet to rule on the matter, even though sources told CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd in November that the case had been put on a "very fast timeline" by the organization.

The Los Angeles Chargers announced Sunday that they completed an interview with Harbaugh for their head-coaching vacancy. He could also be a candidate for other NFL openings.

If he does return to Michigan, Harbaugh will be working with a revamped roster following the departures of stars such as quarterback J.J. McCarthy, running Blake Corum and many others who have keyed the program's run of three straight Big Ten titles.