Central Michigan investigating whether Michigan staffer was on its sideline scouting MSU

Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, center right, watches against East Carolina as analytics assistant Connor Stalions, center left, looks on during an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sept. 2, 2023. Stalions was suspended by the university last week and is at the center of a sign-stealing scheme that is being investigated by the NCAA. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

By Associated Press

November 1, 2023

MOUNT PLEASANT—Central Michigan said Tuesday it is investigating whether Michigan football staffer Connor Stalions was on its sideline scoping out Michigan State during its season opener in September.

Photos circulating on the internet suggest that Stalions was on the Chippewas’ sideline during the Sept. 1 game, about six weeks before the Wolverines played and beat Michigan State.

Stalions was suspended Oct. 20 by Michigan after an investigation reportedly turned up videos of and documented plans and budgets for the scouting of the Wolverines’ opponents.

“We became aware of these photos late yesterday and we are in the process of determining the facts surrounding them. As this process is ongoing, we have no further comment at this time,” Central Michigan athletic director Amy Folan said.

Stalions, a low-level staffer for the Wolverines, was hired in 2022 as part of the recruiting staff. He has not commented publicly since the allegations surfaced. The NCAA is now involved.

The NCAA does not ban sign stealing, but there are rules against scouting opponents in person and the alleged scope of the Michigan case has been the talk of college football. Stalions allegedly purchased tickets to the games of Michigan opponents and sent people to obtain video of the sideline signals used for calling in plays.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, who served a three-game, university-imposed suspension earlier this season for an unrelated and still unresolved NCAA violations case tied to recruiting, has denied any knowledge or involvement in impermissible scouting of opponents. Michigan has declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation.

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