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NCAA Sign-Stealing Investigation of Michigan Focusing on Analyst, per Report

An NCAA investigation into alleged sign-stealing by Michigan football has zeroed in on one of the program’s analysts as a person of interest, according to an ESPN report.

Connor Stalions, described as “a low-level staffer with a military background,” is a key figure in the NCAA investigation. ESPN’s Pete Thamel and Mark Schlabach report that NCAA enforcement staff pursued access to Stalions’s computer as part of its inquiry into what’s been described as an “elaborate” scouting system involving personnel being sent to games to determine opponents’ play-calling signals.

Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Richard Johnson quoted a staffer from one of Michigan’s opponents this season who said, “We had an inclination before we played them that they were sending advance scouts and videoing signals.” 

Using staffers or other personnel to attend games for in-person scouting constitutes a violation of NCAA rules. 

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh speaks with media after the Fiesta Bowl vs. TCU.

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh has denied wrongdoing amid allegations of stealing opponents’ signals.

In a statement, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said he was unaware of any illegal sign-stealing taking place during the past two seasons. Additionally, he denied that any staff members or personnel were assigned to off-campus scouting trips. 

Stalions, a retired Marine captain, works in the recruiting department, according to the ESPN report. He has worked as a volunteer assistant coach with the Michigan program since 2015 and was hired as an off-field analyst in 2022.

However, it’s widely known that most of Stalions’s work involves interpreting signals from opposing teams. He has been photographed on the Michigan sideline during previous seasons, standing next to former defensive coordinators Mike McDonald and Don Brown.

Stalions’s LinkedIn profile reportedly described one of his skills as “identifying the opponent’s most likely course of action and most dangerous course of action.” That profile appears to have been changed or deleted.