Michigan analyst Connor Stalions resigns amid NCAA investigation into sign stealing

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Michigan analyst Connor Stalions has resigned, the university announced Friday. Stalions is at the center of the NCAA investigation into the Wolverines’ alleged sign-stealing efforts. Michigan previously suspended him Oct. 20.  

“Connor Stalions resigned his position with Michigan Athletics this afternoon. We are unable to comment further regarding this personnel matter,” the university said in a statement.

Stalions did not attend a meeting with Michigan officials Friday, and the retired United States Marine Corps captain refused to cooperate with any internal or external investigations, according to multiple reports.

“As he informed the school earlier today, Connor chose to resign because recent stories regarding his time with the University of Michigan have created a distraction for the team,” his attorney told The Athletic. “He hopes his resignation will help the team and coaching staff focus on tomorrow’s game and the remainder of the season. Connor also wants to make it clear that, to his knowledge, neither Coach [Jim] Harbaugh, nor any other coach or staff member, told anyone to break any rules or were aware of improper conduct regarding the recent allegations of advanced scouting.”

The move comes the same day Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti met with university officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Michigan’s Week 10 opponent, Purdue, expressed concern over the sign-stealing scandal ahead of Saturday’s matchup. Asked about the ongoing NCAA investigation during his weekly radio show Thursday night, Purdue coach Ryan Walters didn’t hold back. 

“It’s unfortunate. What’s crazy is they aren’t allegations. It happened,” he said. “There’s video evidence. There’s ticket purchases and sales that you can track back. We know for a fact that they were at a number of our games.” 

Stalions bought tickets for more than 30 games at 12 of the possible 13 Big Ten stadiums and four tickets to games featuring out-of-conference College Football Playoff contenders over a three-year period, according to ESPN. There are records of Stalions buying tickets to the 2021 and 2022 SEC Championship Games through the secondary market. 

At issue is NCAA Bylaw 11.6.1: “Off-campus, in-person scouting of future opponents (in the same season) is prohibited.” Sign-stealing itself is not technically against the rules unless it involves electronic equipment to record and inform players or coaches of signals during games. Teams are given access to a great deal of film in advance of matchups in order to scout the on-field football product

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has denied knowledge of any attempt to steal opponent signs and will cooperate with the NCAA investigation, he said in a statement. Harbaugh is already embroiled in a battle with the NCAA over separate Level II violations for which he is accused of misleading investigators.

Oct. 19 — The Big Ten announces an investigation into alleged sign stealing and illegal in-person scouting at Michigan. At the center is Wolverines analyst and retired United States Marine Corps Captain Connor Stalions. Oct. 20 — Michigan State, Michigan’s Week 8 opponent, announces it has been notified of an investigation by the NCAA and Big Ten. Oct. 20 — Michigan suspends Stalions with pay. Oct. 27 — Division lll coach says Stalions hired him to spy future Big Ten opponents. Nov. 1 — Central Michigan announces investigation into video footage allegedly showing Stalions on the sideline during the team’s season-opener. Nov. 2 — Big Ten coaches, athletic directors encourage Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti to take actionNov. 3 — Stalions resigns

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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