Jim Harbaugh finally addresses Michigan sign-stealing investigation, contract status: ‘Let it play out’

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Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has finally broken his silence on the NCAA’s investigation into widespread allegations of sign stealing within the program. To this point, the face of the controversy has been suspended staffer Connor Stalions, who allegedly used video equipment at several games featuring Big Ten opponents and potential College Football Playoff contenders. However, there could be implications for Harbaugh depending on his knowledge of the alleged scheme. 

“You just have to let it play out,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “Cooperate with the investigation and see how it plays out. Too much of a one-track mind with the team to engage with all the speculation.”

Stalions allegedly bought tickets for at least 30 games at a dozen Big Ten stadiums, as well as locations featuring potential College Football Playoff contenders, over a three-year period. Additionally, a former Division III coach claims he was paid by Stalions to attend two games at Penn State and another at Rutgers over the last two seasons for the specific purpose of recording signs displayed on the sidelines of future opponents.

TCU, Michigan’s opponent in the Fiesta Bowl national semifinal last season, allegedly knew of the sign-stealing attempts and used ‘dummy signals’ in the game. The Horned Frogs topped the Wolverines 51-45 to advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship.

NCAA investigators arrived on Michigan’s campus a week ago to scour through electronic equipment and interview members of the staff. 

The controversy also comes amid reports of extensive talks between Harbaugh and Michigan for a new contract that would make him the highest-paid coach in the Big Ten. That offer was rescinded, according to the Wall Street Journal, but Harbaugh refuted that report while citing a university policy that prevents employees from commenting on contract negotiations until they are finalized. 

“I wouldn’t say that’s accurate,” said Harbaugh. 

Michigan returns to action following a bye against Purdue in Week 10. 

The NCAA’s investigation into Michigan for sign-stealing is a rapidly-developing story and CBS Sports is covering it in real time. Click here for live coverage.


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