The Big Ten is getting shaken up.

News came out last week that the NCAA was investigating the Michigan Wolverines for an alleged cheating scandal involving sign stealing. This was bad news for the Wolverines, who had been performing well this season.

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Although the cheating was conducted by a Michigan staffer, blame has been coming back to head coach Jim Harbaugh. Is it warranted? Or just an excuse to punish someone who the NCAA has ill feelings toward?

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Harbaugh in the Hot Seat

Sports writer JC Shurburtt discussed the topic Thursday morning on "Inside the Locker Room" with Wimp and Barry Sanderson.

"If what is all being reported is true," said Barry Sanderson, "which it is, what should the NCAA do? Do they have a vendetta against Jim Harbaugh?"

"Should they knock them out of the final four?" added Wimp Sanderson.

"If you can prove this is true, I think you have to," responded JC Shurburtt. "This isn't like 'oh we paid players and we're just the ones that got caught'...this is real cheating."

Shurburtt explained that stealing signals itself is not illegal. "If you're good enough to watch them on TV and watch the film and pick up the symbols and you know what's coming: hat's off to you." But teams are not allowed to have staff in the stands taping their opponents and learning their plays. Which is what Michigan did.

"Is there a vendetta against Jim Harbaugh?" asked Shurburtt. "I think you're right." But he emphasized that even if Harbaugh didn't know what was going on, the NCAA has to do something.

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Coming After the Shady Schools

"A lot of these big 10 schools that think they're like the most virtuous, play-by-the-rules programs, are not," said Shurburtt. "There's really not a program out there that wins very consistently that you're not gonna find something that they're doing."

Now that the NCAA has found out about Michigan's cheating, Shurburtt believes they could be disqualified for having an illegal strategic advantage. "Cuz what are they gonna do, burn the film?" said Shurburtt. "They've already watched it."

It's the NCAA's job to stop people who try to get these illegal advantages. "If they don't do anything about it, they're even more of a joke than we thought," said Shurburtt.

Listen to the full interview with JC Shurburtt:

 

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