NFL investigating John Harbaugh for bumping official

Ravens coach one of three coaches whose run-ins with referees are being reviewed by the league

  • Ravens coach John Harbaugh talks with an official during the Ravens-Patriots game.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh talks with an official during the… (Patrick Smith, Getty Images )
September 24, 2012|By Edward Lee

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s decision to grab an official at the conclusion of the Ravens’ 31-30 win Sunday night drew the headlines, but that doesn’t mean that Ravens coach John Harbaugh has escaped the NFL’s attention.

The league announced Monday that it was opening an investigation into several coaches who had run-ins with officials Sunday, including Harbaugh’s self-acknowledged bump of a referee while attempting to call a timeout in the fourth quarter.

“We are reviewing incidents from yesterday’s games involving the game officials and Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan,” the NFL said.

Shanahan, the son of Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 38-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Harbaugh, who was assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike contact, conceded that he did make contact with a referee. But he declined to elaborate on the league’s review.

“I really can’t touch on it,” he said after Monday’s walkthrough. “I think there [are] a lot of good officials in these crews. It’s just going to be hard for those guys to all be on the same page with the history of the National Football League and all that in a few weeks, but there [are] a lot of very talented officials that do a great job and they’re really great communicators and everything. I think there’s a lot of talent there, but the task is tough and they are working real hard at it.”

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