Michigan Responds to Big Ten Sign Stealing : The University of Michigan has responded to the Big Ten’s inquiry into alleged illegal sign-stealing, cautioning against issuing premature punishments for the program and head coach Jim Harbaugh. Reports suggest that Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti might announce sanctions on Thursday.
Michigan’s response, outlined in a 10-page letter signed by athletic director Warde Manuel, urges caution in making swift judgments. The university argues that a hasty decision would set an “indefensible precedent” and emphasizes feedback from other Big Ten schools.
According to Yahoo Sports, there is speculation that Petitti could impose a multi-game suspension on Harbaugh, who denies any knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing. The university contends that former football staffer Connor Stalions conducted a rogue operation involving banned in-person scouting of opponents, with no other Michigan coaches aware of Stalions’ actions.
Michigan further asserts that other Big Ten programs engaged in sign-stealing practices against them, urging the conference to act cautiously when setting precedents. The university is also preparing its legal defense, with the response letter being a joint effort from Michigan’s Board of Regents, the university’s general counsel, and outside counsel Williams & Connolly from Washington.
Reports indicate that Stalions purchased game tickets to observe Big Ten foes and potential College Football Playoff opponents, including Georgia, Clemson, and Alabama. He allegedly bought seats strategically placed to view opponents’ sideline signals during various Big Ten games.