Originally found on CBS Sports:
Big Ten coaches spent nearly an hour expressing their frustration with the ongoing investigation into Michigan’s alleged sign-stealing operation during a 90-minute video call with commissioner Tony Petitti, according to ESPN. The collected coaches encouraged Petitti to take action against Michigan, acknowledging the fact that the NCAA’s investigation likely won’t affect Michigan’s 2023 season either way.
“Collectively, the coaches want the Big Ten to act — right now,” a source told ESPN. “What are we waiting on? We know what happened.”
Big Ten presidents and athletic directors have also met with Petitti to encourage action in the case, Yahoo Sports reports.
“He is going to have to act or he will lose the coaches and ADs,” another source told ESPN.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was on the conference call for routine business but eventually left to allow the Big Ten’s other coaches to openly discuss the investigation. At that point, coaches spent a majority of the call explaining their understanding of the sign-stealing scheme and how it impacted their program.
“Every game they [Michigan] played is tainted,” a source told ESPN.
The Big Ten could punish Michigan or members of its staff under its Sportsmanship Policy independently of the NCAA’s investigation. According to Yahoo’s report, a wide range of penalties had been discussed among Big Ten administrators — a suspension of Harbaugh was reportedly entertained as the “cleanest” potential penalty — though the course of action remains “uncertain.” However, law experts warn severe penalties would likely spur a legal response from Michigan.
Harbaugh eventually face consequences from the NCAA, even if he was unaware of the scheme.
The Wolverines are 8-0, though the NCAA launched its investigation centered around staffer Connor Stalions two weeks ago. Michigan suspended Stalions after reports surfaced surrounding his use of video equipment to record several Big Ten opponents and even potential College Football Playoff competitors. Stalions allegedly bought tickets for at least 30 games around the nation during a three-year period. An anonymous former Division III coach also claimed he was paid by Stalions to attend two games at Penn State and another at Rutgers over the past two seasons for the specific purpose of recording signs used by teams on each sideline.
NCAA investigators arrived on Michigan’s campus a week ago to scour through electronic equipment and interview members of the staff.
“You just have to let it play out,” Harbaugh said during his Monday media availability. “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.”
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.