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The University of Michigan has reportedly sent information to the Big Ten claiming Rutgers, Ohio State and Purdue “engaged in communication about the Wolverines’ signals.”
Prior to last year’s Big Ten championship game against Michigan, Purdue reportedly received offensive signals from OSU, while the New Jersey school allegedly sent defensive signals to the Boilermakers, accoring to ESPN.
The new wrinkle in the case is not expected to affect any potential punishment for the Wolverines in their sign-stealing accusations. It also is unknown if these new allegations regarding Michigan’s Big Ten rivals violate NCAA rules or the conference’s sportsmanship policy.
All three of the schools involved did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Purdue declined to comment.
Michigan announced last week that Connor Stalions, the accused ringleader of an alleged sign-stealing scheme, resigned after earlier reports said he was fired.
It was revealed Oct. 18 the NCAA was investigating the football program for stealing signs. Since the investigation began, more damning evidence of Stalions’ alleged involvement has emerged.
An unnamed former coach from college football’s Division III claimed Stalions gave him “a couple hundred dollars” for the recordings of the Wolverines’ future opponents, ESPN reported. The coach added that he received free tickets and shared the footage via an iPhone photo album.
Stalions was also alleged to be on the Central Michigan sideline when the team played Michigan State Sept. 1, wearing a bench credential that said “VB,” a visiting bench designation. This gives access for the credential holder to stand between the 20-yard lines, which is usually for players, coaches, team trainers and equipment staff.
It’s been reported Stalions purchased tickets to more than 30 games at 11 different Big Ten schools over the past three seasons, including this season. Michigan was not playing in any of the games for which Stalions bought tickets, sources told ESPN.
The Big Ten sportsmanship policy states that the conference “expects all contests involving a member institution to be conducted without compromise to any fundamental element of sportsmanship. Such fundamental elements include integrity of the competition, civility toward all, and respect, particularly toward opponents and officials.”
Michigan beat Rutgers, 31-7, Sept. 23 and the Boilermakers, 41-13, Saturday. The Wolverines face the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor Nov. 26. Michigan has beaten Ohio State two years straight after losing each of the previous eight matchups.