Allegations of sign-stealing within the Michigan Wolverines football program have taken a new turn with a former Big Ten staffer coming forward to share his role in the scandal. The NCAA is actively investigating these allegations, which harken back to the 2021 season and resulted in a three-game suspension for Michigan’s head coach, Jim Harbaugh, earlier this year due to NCAA recruiting violations.
The crux of the controversy centers around a former Michigan staffer named Connor Stallions, who played a central role in these alleged sign-stealing activities. Stallions resigned from the university on the preceding Friday, drawing further attention to the matter.
Larry Lage of the Associated Press spoke to a former employee of a Big Ten football program who revealed that he had been assigned the task of stealing signs from the Wolverines. While the specific school where this individual was employed was not disclosed, he openly shared his experience and documents with Michigan. This whistleblower, speaking anonymously to protect his coaching career, hoped to rectify what he perceives as an unfair burden placed on Jim Harbaugh and his assistant coaches over the sign-stealing controversy.
The shared documents included a comprehensive spreadsheet detailing the Wolverines’ signs and their corresponding plays. These details were drawn from a collaborative effort involving coaches and programs across the Big Ten conference. The whistleblower’s act of sharing this information with Michigan was motivated by his desire to assist Jim Harbaugh’s embattled program.
As the investigation unfolds, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported that the Big Ten has sent a notice to Michigan regarding potential disciplinary actions related to the scandal. The consequences could be significant, including the possible termination of Jim Harbaugh, depending on the findings of the investigation.
A Michigan official has confirmed to ESPN that the school received formal notification from the Big Ten of potential disciplinary action. This is a step stated in the league’s sportsmanship policy. pic.twitter.com/iQ7zFC2MHb
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) November 6, 2023
This is particularly concerning for the Wolverines as they are currently ranked No. 2 in the nation, trailing only their archrivals, the Ohio State Buckeyes. The two teams are scheduled to face each other in a highly anticipated regular-season finale on November 25th. The potential impact of these allegations on the Wolverines’ program and Harbaugh’s future is still unclear.