NCAA investigators to question members of Michigan coaching staff as part of sign-stealing probe


NCAA investigators are set to interview members of Michigan’s coaching staff as part of a probe into allegations of sign stealing that have rocked the Wolverines program. NCAA enforcement staffers arrived on Michigan’s campus this week, ESPN reported, and will search the electronics of Michigan coaches. Some members of the staff have been interviewed, according to multiple reports; however, other assistants are on the road recruiting and have not yet been interviewed, according to the Detroit News. It is not immediately clear which members of staff — most notably, coach Jim Harbaugh — will be questioned by investigators. 

The investigation is unlikely to be resolved by the end of the 2023 season due to the fact that the Wolverines would have 90 days to respond to a formal notice of allegations from the NCAA. However, Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti could authorize disciplinary action against Michigan at the conference level before the season’s end if deemed appropriate. 

Michigan came under investigation earlier in October after a third-party investigative firm came forward to the NCAA with files and videos from computer drives maintained by the university suggesting evidence of potential sign-stealing, according to The Washington Post. At the heart of the investigation is suspended Wolverines analyst Connor Stalions, who allegedly spearheaded an effort that involved purchasing a swath of tickets to football games involving Big Ten opponents and potential College Football Playoff opponents dating back to 2021 with the intent of using film to decode opponents’ play-call signals. NCAA rules prohibit in-person scouting of opponents and use illegal technology. Sign stealing, while frowned upon, isn’t illegal. 

Harbaugh has denied knowledge of any wrongdoing by Michigan’s staff while also vowing he and his staff would cooperate with NCAA investigators.

The Wolverines were already under investigation by the NCAA for alleged recruiting violations that occurred during the COVID-19 dead period. Harbaugh is accused of misleading NCAA investigators when questioned on that matter, leading to a three-game school-imposed suspension that he served to start the 2023 season. 

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