DETROIT (BVM) – Over the past week or so, one of the biggest storylines across college football has been the NCAA investigation into the sign-stealing scandal at the University of Michigan.
The investigation of the Wolverines’ football program stems from allegations that Michigan sent people with ties to the program to attend games of future opponents and videotape signals given to players by coaches, a violation of NCAA rules. The main name that has come to the forefront of the investigation so far is Connor Stalions, a Michigan assistant who reportedly led the sign-stealing operation. He has since been suspended by the program.
Since the allegations have come out, many people have weighed in. Earlier this week, former Ohio State standout and current Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud was asked about the scandal, saying the Buckeyes “had an idea” Michigan might be stealing their signals.
— Shaun Bijani (@ShaunBijani) October 25, 2023
Meanwhile, some anonymous members of the coaching staff at TCU, the team Michigan faced last year in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff, have also noted they were aware of what the Wolverines were doing, and used dummy signals as a result to try and throw Michigan off.
“Sometimes we froze a play before the snap,” a TCU coach said. “We’d call a play and then we’d signal in another play with an old signal but we told players to run the original play.”
TCU coaches learned from other staffs about Michigan’s “elaborate” sign-stealing before the CFP semifinal.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) October 26, 2023
While more and more continues to come out on the situation, what many really want to know is Michigan’s perspective on the scandal. On Thursday, one of Michigan’s top defensive players in recent history, current Detroit Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, weighed in on the situation.
“They’re coming at Michigan when Michigan’s got a shot to win the national championship this year,” Hutchinson said. “It is what it is, I guess.
“Time will pass, people will forget about it and move on once we’re the champs again.”
Throughout the scandal thus far, one of the most surprising revelations has been the talk of how common sign stealing actually is across college football. Hutchinson is yet another person to echo those statements.
“People are always stealing signs in college football,” the Lions defensive end said. “So, people stole our signs, other Big Ten schools stole our signs. It’s just a thing when you’re in college football.”
As the scandal continues on, it is likely that more former Michigan players will speak out in defense of the program as Hutchinson did.
In a statement released last week, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh claimed he was not aware of Stalions or anyone else on the staff being involved in a sign-stealing scheme, but did also note the Wolverines would fully cooperate with the NCAA in the investigation.
Statement from Jim Harbaugh pic.twitter.com/AnSSuYsiEN
— Maize & Blue Nation 🏈📸 (@MaizeBlueNation) October 19, 2023
The controversy surrounding the program has overshadowed what has been another tremendous season for the Wolverines. Following two consecutive years in which they beat Ohio State, won a Big Ten championship and earned a College Football Playoff berth, Michigan has started the season a perfect 8-0, winning each game it has played this year by 24 points or more.
The Wolverines are on a bye this week, and have just four games remaining on their 2023 schedule, including a couple that will ultimately determine their championship fate with a road matchup against Penn State and a home matchup to end the year against Ohio State.
There is no doubt Harbaugh will continue to keep his team focused on the task at hand, but the controversy currently surrounding the program isn’t going away any time soon.