Big Ten Schools Call For Action On Michigan Sign-Stealing

Representatives from 13 of the schools in college athletics’ Big Ten Conference have urged the conference commissioner to take action against the 14th school, Michigan. This comes after a wide-ranging and elaborate sign-stealing operation was exposed and is now being investigated by the NCAA. Five sources familiar with the call told ESPN that the coaches demanded immediate action against Michigan. “Collectively, the coaches want the Big Ten to act — right now. What are we waiting on? We know what happened,” one source summarized. As a result, the Conference scheduled a call between the commissioner and school athletic directors for later in the week.

Coaches reportedly used “tainted”, “fraudulent”, and “unprecedented” to describe Michigan’s actions. Furthermore, coaches pointed to Michigan’s 22-1 conference record over the last three years, the period of time that the sign-stealing operation has reportedly been in place, as proof of its effect on the conference. “People don’t understand the seriousness of it. How it truly impacted the game plan. To truly know if it’s a run or a pass, people don’t understand how much of an advantage that was for Michigan,” another source said.

Read More: TCU Used “Dummy Signals” To Thwart Michigan Sign-Stealing During CFP

Michigan Sign-Stealing Operation Explained

“What’s the message the Big Ten is sending now by doing nothing? Win now, pay later?”@BruceFeldmanCFB and I explain why the Big Ten coaches are frustrated with the league not penalizing Michigan as the NCAA investigation remains ongoing:

— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) November 2, 2023

The Michigan sign-stealing operation was first reported two weeks ago by Yahoo! and has steadily grown in scope. The investigation has centered on Connor Stalions, a long-time staffer within the football program. Stalions is found to have bought tickets to 35 games at 17 venues over the last three years. This includes 12 Big 10 schools. While in attendance, Stalions is believed to have recorded the sidelines in order to capture footage of a team’s play-calling signs. While sign-stealing is not prohibited, in-person scouting of future opponents and sign-stealing via electronic means is banned under NCAA rules. Stalions is currently on paid suspension from his position.

Furthermore, a former Division III coach has claimed that Stalions paid him to record footage at least one game involving a future Michigan opponent. While most of Michigan’s coaching staff has denied knowledge of the sign-stealing operation, the school said that it is cooperating with the Big Ten and NCAA in their investigations. Michigan are currently 8-0 and lead the Big Ten East. Their season will likely be decided with a matchup against Ohio State in the regular season finale.

Read More: Deion Sanders Demands NCAA Compensate Colorado Players For UCLA Robbery


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