The school announced Friday that it had relieved linebackers coach Chris Partridge of his duties. A statement connected the firing to the ongoing investigation by the NCAA into efforts by former football staff member Connor Stalions to arrange in-person scouting of future opponents.
Partridge worked at Michigan from 2015 to ’19 and again starting in this season. Yahoo Sports reported that Partridge was not accused of knowing about the scouting program but of later helping to cover up evidence.
The Big Ten punished Michigan last Friday by prohibiting Harbaugh from being with the team or coaching it on game days. Harbaugh was absent from a 24-15 win last Saturday over Penn State as Michigan awaited a court date on a legal challenge.
On Thursday, the school decided to drop the challenge, so Harbaugh will miss games Saturday at Maryland and a season-ending home game Nov. 25 against Ohio State. In the latest College Football Playoff rankings, the Buckeyes were ranked second and the Wolverines third.
Michigan is accused of sending scouts to the games of future opponents to learn how they send in play calls from the sideline. Although sign-stealing is not against NCAA regulations, in-person scouting is. It’s not believed that Harbaugh knew about the program but is being punished for not knowing about it as head of the program.
Yahoo Sports is further reporting that the NCAA has learned of a Michigan supporter known only as “Uncle T,” who gave Stalions thousands to pay for expenses.
Michigan appointed Rick Minter as linebackers coach. Minter is the father of defensive coordinator Jesse Minter and a former University of Cincinnati coach.
Harbaugh said that offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore will serve as acting coach for the Maryland game, just as he did at Penn State.