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Report: Alleged Michigan sign-stealer on sideline at Big Ten opponent game


Officials at Central Michigan are reviewing photos that could be of Connor Stalions — a Michigan staff member at the center of a potential sign-stealing scandal — roaming the sidelines in the season opener at Michigan State, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Central Michigan athletic director Amy Folan told ESPN via a prepared statement that the school learned of the photos Monday night. The man in the pictures, who looks like Stalions, is dressed in Central Michigan attire and has on a bench credential as he stands on the sidelines, per the report.

His pass gives him access to areas of the sidelines reserved for players and specific staff members, including coaches.

“We are in the process of determining the facts surrounding them,” Folan said in the statement. “As this process is ongoing, we have no further comment at this time.”

The NCAA is investigating Michigan for violating rules regarding off-campus scouting of upcoming foes, with Stalions the alleged ringleader of a sign-stealing operation.

Michigan suspended Stalions with pay earlier this month, and head coach Jim Harbaugh denied knowledge of any wrongdoing.

ESPN reported Tuesday that it had obtained photos that showed a man in sunglasses holding what looked like a play sheet that he held near his face, although he still was caught by the television cameras.

While Stalions reportedly bought tickets to a variety of games featuring opponents the Wolverines could face, ESPN said the Central Michigan photos would place him on the field of a game involving a Michigan opponent for the first time.

Michigan State lost to Michigan 49-0 on Oct. 21.

On Monday, Harbaugh pushed back against multiple reports that a contract extension offer was being withdrawn, or at least put on hold, due to the ongoing sign-stealing investigation, telling reporters he “wouldn’t say that’s accurate.”

He added it is against policy to talk about ongoing contract negotiations.

The No. 2 Wolverines (8-0) host Purdue on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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