As a college football fan who doesn’t really have a dog in the fight, this Michigan sign stealing scandal has been absolutely incredible to watch.
It was announced last month that the NCAA was investigating the Michigan Wolverines football program for allegedly stealing play call signs from their opponents.
Now, obviously this goes on every day, teams trying to figure out their opponents signs to gain an advantage. But NCAA rules prohibit coaching staffs from conducting any in-person scouting of their opponents.
And it turns out that’s exactly what Michigan is accused of doing, thanks to maybe my favorite character in the history of college football, a football analyst for the team named Connor Stalions.
Stalions, who was officially hired as a member of the staff of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh in 2022, has apparently just been buying tickets to college football games all over the country to try to scout Michigan’s opponents and allegedly steal their signs.
And he was even sending Venmos to other people to buy tickets to watch future opponents and record their sidelines.
The guy is just an absolute menace and I love it. But it gets way better.
Currently, Central Michigan University is also investigating whether Stalions showed up on the sidelines of one of their games wearing CMU gear, after photos appear to show the rogue staffer wearing a sideline pass for their game against Michigan’s future opponent, Michigan State, earlier this year.
And when the NCAA, the Big Ten and the University of Michigan all began investigating, Stalions proved his loyalty to Big Blue and refused to cooperate, because somebody that devoted to the game ain’t no snitch.
Oh, and incredible piece to the puzzle, it turns out the Stalions was once sued by his homeowners association for running an illegal business, allegedly selling refurbished vacuum cleaners out of his home to finance his sign-stealing operation. And he represented himself in the lawsuit, claiming that the guy suing him was just a disgruntled Michigan State fan.
Seriously, the documentaries on this whole thing are going to be insane and I can’t wait.
Well despite both Stalions and Harbaugh claiming that the head coach knew nothing about the alleged sign-stealing operation, it seems that the Big Ten is ready to taken action on the situation.
According to ESPN, the league is expected to suspend Harbaugh from the sideline for the rest of the 2023 season – after he just returned in week 4 after a 3-game suspension from the university to start out the season due to recruiting violations.
On second thought, can we just get a 30 for 30 on Harbaugh’s entire tenure at Michigan?
The coach will still be allowed to coach his team during the week, and his suspension is only expected to last through the regular season.
Breaking: The Big Ten is expected to discipline Michigan for the in-person scouting and sign stealing investigation and will prohibit Jim Harbaugh from being on the sideline for the rest of the regular season, sources told @PeteThamel.
The undefeated Michigan Wolverines have three games left in the regular season: This week’s game at Penn State, a matchup at Maryland, and the annual rivalry game against Ohio State at home to round out the season.
Michigan is currently sitting at #2 in the College Football Playoff rankings, and is widely expected to be a contender for a spot in the playoffs. And if that’s the case, it sounds like Harbaugh would be allowed to rejoin his team on the sidelines to coach those games.
But to make the whole situation even funnier: The Michigan football team is already on their way to Penn State, with Harbaugh on the plane with his team.
Lane Kiffin was fired on the tarmac at USC, and it sounds like Harbaugh is going to be suspended on the tarmac by the Big Ten.
This whole story is just wild, and I can’t get enough of it.