Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty ImagesMichigan doesn’t believe it’s an isolated case as the Wolverines continue to be embroiled in a sign-stealing scandal.
Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Richard Johnson reported the school “is aggressively fighting back against potential sanctions for alleged illegal signal-stealing by former football staffer Connor Stalions.”
As part of its defense, Michigan intends to provide Big Ten officials with evidence showing other teams in the conference had deciphered its signals and forwarded that knowledge to opposing programs.
Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic reported Ohio State, Purdue and Rutgers were the schools accused of sharing signals.
According to Forde and Johnson, a former Big Ten coach provided Michigan with two documents that included the Wolverines’ sideline signals. The coach also said he and his coaching staff had “received multiple detailed breakdowns of which signals corresponded to which play calls.”
Forde and Johnson also reported they obtained redacted copies of the documents:
“The two Michigan signal breakdowns include sections devoted to deciphering the boards held up by staffers with images on them, lengthy lists describing hand signals for running plays, slightly shorter lists for passing plays and separate lists describing signals for play-action passes or bootleg plays. One of the documents also includes a section devoted to signals gathered during a 2022 game against the Wolverines, and both documents include a ‘2020 Game’ heading, followed by a short rundown of signals ostensibly deciphered during a game that year.”They confirmed with a source from Michigan that the signals aligned with their play-calling from last year.
Forde and Johnson noted sharing signal information between schools is permitted by NCAA rules, and they cited one coach who worked in the Big Ten and who said “everyone does it.” It’s also unclear whether opposing schools decoded the Wolverines’ play-calling by improper means, which Stalions is accused of doing.
In addition to reportedly purchasing tickets for the purpose of live-scouting other Big Ten schools and possible bowl opponents for Michigan, Stalions is also under investigation by the NCAA and Central Michigan regarding an allegation he gained access to the Chippewas’ sideline for a game against Michigan State.
Chris Vannini @ChrisVanniniNEW: @TheAthletic has obtained more photos of the goatee’d sunglasses person on the Central Michigan sideline at Michigan State.
CMU is looking into whether this is Connor Stalions.
Story: https://t.co/79siEcZ89r pic.twitter.com/R5AyslTIWF
Michigan received a formal notice Monday from the Big Ten regarding potential discipline to follow. Regardless of what the conference decides, the Wolverines aren’t going down without a fight, and they might take some of their rivals with them.
Source : Bleacher Report