The college football world is currently buzzing about the Michigan sign-stealing scandal and what it will mean for Jim Harbaugh's program. The Wolverines are currently ranked No. 2 and sit at 8-0 but every day a new headline seems to make things worse. We're here to catch you up on the latest news on the scandal.
For those out of the loop, the general outline is that low-level staffer Connor Stalions allegedly masterminded an elaborate scheme to steal opponents' signs. While sign-stealing in-game is allowed in college football, attending games or practices in person and doing so is against the rules. Stalions is alleged to have broken that rule numerous times. He was suspended by the university with pay on Oct. 20. Stalions is a 2017 Naval Academy graduate and former Marine Corps officer who Michigan hired as an off-field analyst in May of 2022.
Stalions was reportedly in possession of a 550 to 600 page "Michigan Manifesto" with plans on how to run the the program in the future.
In text messages that have been revealed, Stalions admitted stealing opponents' signs, then standing next to then-Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and relayed to him what opposing defenses were planning to do.
Stalions is also alleged to have bought tickets, under his real name, to nearly 30 over the past three seasons. He bought tickets at 11 different Big Ten schools, and electronics were used to record the sidelines of future opponents in an attempt to decipher their signs. An ESPN report reveals there was an extensive paper trail. He had also purchased tickets on both sides of the stadium for the big Penn State-Ohio State showdown two weeks ago.
A former Division III coach has revealed he was given "a couple hundred dollars" by Stalions in exchange for recording Michigan's opponents. He revealed he attended two Penn State games and one Rutgers game to steal signs.
Some opponents knew of Michigan's scheme. TCU reportedly knew Stalions had been stealing signs, so the Horned Frogs changed them before facing the Wolverines in the College Football Playoff. They also mixed in new play-call signals with old ones, using "dummy signals" to fool Michigan's staff. It clearly worked as TCU pulled off a massive upset 51-45.
The latest development in the scandal might be the craziest. On Tuesday, photos emerged of a man on the sidelines of Central Michigan's game against Michigan State decked out in CMU gear. He looks suspiciously like Stalions.
Central Michigan has launched an investigation into who this man is.
We will update this as more surfaces.