At least according to Michigan’s sideline version of Lt. Drebin, there’s nothing to see here. Please disperse.
Over the weekend, it was reported that North Carolina had warned Michigan, among other schools, about the potential for NCAA violations involving student-athletes in general and football players specifically. Earlier this month, UNC announced that 13 of its football players have been suspended for at least one game this season because they sold team-issued shoes.
Like UNC, U-M is a Jordan Brand program. Because of UNC’s issues, U-M launched its own investigation to determine whether or not any of its student-athletes had committed any type of NCAA violations in regards to the sale of team-issued apparel.
While that probe isn’t yet officially complete, Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh seemed confident Monday after, according to him, the program’s initial inventory check showed all shoes distributed to current players are present and accounted for. From the Detroit Free Press:
There were a couple shoes that were reported to be out there, we’ve gone through everybody that’s currently on the roster and they’ve accounted for those pairs of shoes,” Harbaugh said. “The latest (pair) I saw (on the market) was a No. 52 (pair of shoes). There’s nobody currently on the roster that had that number last year.”
Asked if he anticipates any suspensions for the 2018 season, Harbaugh replied “no.”
Michigan’s football program marks each pair of team-issued shoes at the time they’re given to players. The student-athletes do not get the box the shoes came in and they’re required to sign a letter acknowledging they know that selling a pair of team-issued sneakers is an NCAA violation.
The Associated Press noted that “many former [U-M] players and some former [U-M] assistant coaches had access to the shoes that have” surfaced on the secondary market, a market that led to UNC self-reporting its violations.