Potential Michigan Sign-Stealing Punishment Could Be Announced Today, But U-of-M Warns Big Ten of the Precedent It Will Set
Perhaps the biggest sports story over the past two weeks has been the ongoing saga surrounding Michigan football’s sign-stealing allegations. What began as accusations quickly turned into a chain of evidence involving Michigan staffer, Connor Stalions. Stalions, who purchased tickets to opponent’s games in order to steal play-calling signs for the Wolverines’ advantage, was even spotted in disguise on the sidelines of a Central Michigan game. The NCAA is investigating Stalions’ role and the potential appearance at CMU. Regardless, he was fired by Michigan over the weekend.
Gaining knowledge of signals used by opposing teams is not directly against the rules, but using off-campus scouting of other games is 100 percent prohibited by the NCAA.
Chapter 2: Michigan vs. The Big Ten
The story has spiraled into chaos in Chapter 2 this week with Michigan pointing the finger back at other Big Ten schools, claiming Purdue, Ohio State and Rutgers colluded against U-of-M to steal their signs. And down the rabbit hole we go. Now, there’s more.
On Wednesday, Michigan responded to the Big Ten’s notice of disciplinary action and warned the conference of setting a dangerous precedent considering how often sign-stealing occurs within the conference. Michigan also argued that any sanctions at this stage would break the league’s bylaws.
That leaves Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti with a decision to make in the coming days. Reports suggest any potential punishments from Petitti and the Big Ten could come as early as today. We’ll learn more as the day progresses and update you in tomorrow’s edition.
Who Gets Punished?
At this time, all potential punishments would likely be levied against coaches, not players, meaning there is little chance Michigan would forfeit any wins or college football playoff opportunities that would impact the players this season. Head coach Jim Harbaugh, who served a three-game suspension to start the season for recruiting violations, would likely receive some form of suspensions or sanctions.
With Harbaugh linked to a possible NFL return, any new punishments could be the final domino that sends him back to the pros.
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