Michigan sign-stealing investigation: New report reveals 'outside firm' went to NCAA, details budget
New information has emerged regarding the NCAA investigation surrounding accusations of Michigan’s in-person scouting and sign-stealing.
The Washington Post reports that an “outside firm” went to the NCAA with information, prompting the investigation that sent shockwaves through the college football world ahead of Saturday’s Week 8 games.
The Post’s Will Hobson spoke to 2 sources connected to the firm on the basis of anonymity. They would not reveal who hired the firm.
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Suspended Michigan staffer Connor Stalions, a volunteer later hired as an analyst, has emerged as a central figure in the matter. Per The Post, the unnamed outside firm found Stalions was not acting alone but notably did not present any evidence directly linking coach Jim Harbaugh to the operation.
According to Hobson, the firm presented the NCAA with a detailed schedule of Michigan’s travel plans and budget for the sign-stealing operation. The NCAA does not explicitly prohibit sign-stealing, but in-person scouting of future opponents is against the rules.
As sign-stealing details have emerged in various reports, many fans and media members have raised questions about how much money went into the operation, noting Stalions’ listed 2022 salary of $55,000. The Post shines some light on the finances.
According to The Post’s report, over $3,000 was budgeted to attend as many as 8 Ohio State games. The figure included tickets and travel. More than $3,000 was also budgeted for in-person scouting of Georgia in 4 or 5 games. The season budget was over $15,000 for 40 games involving 10 other teams.
The firm reportedly provided photos of scouts in action, including students interning with the football team. Video footage was reportedly uploaded to a computer maintained by Stalions, with access to several other Michigan assistants and coaches.