Big Ten fines Michigan, reprimands Harbaugh for ripping refs

Michigan has been fined $10,000 by the Big Ten Conference for coach Jim Harbaugh's criticism of officiating from the Wolverines' 30-27 loss to rival Ohio State on Saturday.

The Big Ten also reprimanded Harbaugh for what it classified as a violation of Big Ten Conference Agreement 10.01, which in part states that the league "expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship. Such fundamental elements include integrity of competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials."

The Wolverines' second-year coach complained in his postgame news conference about several officiating decisions, including a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct called on Harbaugh himself, and a controversial spotting of the ball in overtime that resulted in a crucial first down for OSU. A pass interference call against Michigan, and another play that Harbaugh believed should have drawn a pass interference flag against the Buckeyes, also drew his ire. The first-down spot probably was the most costly play for the Wolverines; it came after a fourth-and-1 run by OSU QB J.T. Barrett that would have resulted in a Michigan win had the spot measured short.

The stakes for the game couldn't have been much higher. Michigan was likely knocked out of College Football Playoff contention with the loss, along with its hopes of a Big Ten Championship. Penn State and Wisconsin will play in Saturday's Big Ten title game while Ohio State (11-1) will wait in hope of being the first team to receive a CFP berth without winning a conference championship.

Michigan (10-2) has lost to the Buckeyes in five consecutive seasons.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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