NCAA investigation: New details center on Michigan staffer, per report
Further details are emerging regarding the NCAA’s investigation into Michigan on the allegations of in-person scouting of other teams and illicit sign stealing.
According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, the NCAA is looking into low-level staffer Connor Stalions as one of the crucial culprits for the situation. As a person of interest, the NCAA is requesting access to Stalions’ computer.
Stalions has been an off-field football analyst for the program since May 2022 and is a a retired captain in the United States Marine Corps. Opponent scouting in different venues is what Stalions is being looked into for.
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NEW: NCAA investigation into Michigan's alleged sign stealing operation includes a low-level staffer with a military background. Sources said NCAA enforcement is seeking access to the computer of analyst Connor Stalions as part of the investigation. https://t.co/cyacgdrSe8
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) October 20, 2023
On Thursday, Jim Harbaugh released a statement in which he vehemently denies knowing about the situation and that he intends to cooperate with the investigation.
“I do not have any knowledge or information regarding the University of Michigan football program illegally stealing signals, nor have I directed any staff member or others to participate in an off-campus scouting assignment,” Harbaugh said in the statement.
However, coaches and administrators in the conference are appalled. In-state rival Michigan State contemplated not playing against Michigan this weekend before reconsidering.
“This is worse than both the Astros and the Patriots — it’s both use of technology for a competitive advantage and there’s allegations that they are filming prior games, not just in-game,” a Big Ten source said via ESPN. “If it was just an in-game situation, that’s different. Going and filming somewhere you’re not supposed to be. It’s illegal. It’s too much of an advantage.”
The Big Ten issued a statement on the pressing matter.
“The Big Ten Conference considers the integrity of competition to be of utmost importance and will continue to monitor the investigation,” the conference said in a statement.