Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Report: Big Ten ticket purchases tied to Michigan staffer

Citing information from 11 different Big Ten schools, ESPN reported Monday that the Michigan staffer under investigation in a sign-stealing probe had purchased tickets for more than 30 conference football games over the past three seasons.

Connor Stalions was suspended with pay by Michigan, according to multiple outlets, after the NCAA began a probe into a Wolverines staffer using electronic equipment to decipher play calls from the sideline for various Big Ten teams, typically an opponent on the Michigan schedule later that season.

According to the report, Stalions has forwarded his purchased tickets at Big Ten stadiums other than Michigan’s to at least three other parties. Security footage from one unnamed Big Ten school reportedly revealed a person taping the home team’s sideline with an iPhone for the entire game from a seat purchased by Stalions.

Stealing signals from the sideline during a game is not a violation of Big Ten rules, but using electronic equipment to do so does violate a subsection of the NCAA football rulebook. Also under investigation is whether or not Michigan violated a separate scouting rule.

The No. 2 Wolverines (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) are in their bye week and will return to face Purdue at home Nov. 4.

Stalions was a volunteer at Michigan from 2015-22, according to ESPN, citing a LinkedIn account. He was hired by the school full time in May 2022 at a yearly salary of $55,000.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh denied having knowledge of his program illegally stealing signs and said he doesn’t “condone or tolerate anyone doing anything illegal or against NCAA rules.”

Michigan also is under investigation for potential recruiting violations during the COVID-19 dead period.

–Field Level Media

Reportng - Field Level Media
Reportng - Field Level Media
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