LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — University of Michigan Athletics has suspended a U-M football analyst over allegations of sign-stealing.
U-M staffer Connor Stalions has been suspended with pay, pending an NCAA investigation into allegations of sign-stealing, athletic director Warde J. Manuel said in a statement Friday.
The Big Ten Conference released the following statement Thursday:
“Late Wednesday afternoon, the Big Ten Conference and University of Michigan were notified by the NCAA that the NCAA was investigating allegations of sign stealing by the University of Michigan football program. The Big Ten Conference has notified Michigan State University and future opponents. The Big Ten Conference considers the integrity of competition to be of utmost importance and will continue to monitor the investigation. The Conference will have no further comment at this time.”
A University of Michigan spokesperson has acknowledged the investigation and said the school is in full cooperation:
“The university has been notified by the NCAA, along with the Big Ten, that the NCAA is investigating allegations of play signal stealing by Michigan football,” said University of Michigan spokesperson Kim Broekhuizen. “The university is fully cooperating with the Big Ten and NCAA. The investigation is ongoing and Saturday’s game will continue as planned. At the University of Michigan, we are committed to the highest ethical and integrity standards for all members of our community.”
Sign-stealing is the practice of using methods outside of the NCAA rulebook to learn other football teams’ signals for play calls. The general goal of sign stealing is to know an opponent’s play before the ball is snapped.
U-M football coach Jim Harbaugh has released his own statement regarding the sign-stealing investigation:
I want to make it clear that I, and my staff, will fully cooperate with the investigation into this matter. 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.
I have no awareness of anyone on our staff having done that or having directed that action. I do not condone or tolerate anyone doing anything illegal or against NCAA rules. No matter what program or organization that I have led throughout my career, my instructions and awareness of how we scout opponents have always been firmly within the rules.
Pursuant to NCAA rules, I will not be able to comment further while this investigation takes place.”U-M football coach Jim Harbaugh