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Ohio State Reportedly Warned TCU About Michigan’s Sign Stealing Ahead Of College Football Playoff

By October 26, 2023 (10:29 pm)Football

According to a report on Thursday from Yahoo Sports’ Ross Dellenger, Ohio State took steps to warn TCU of Michigan’s alleged sign stealing ahead of the Horned Frogs’ College Football Playoff matchup with the Wolverines last season.

TCU’s reportedly received information from several Big Ten schools, including Ohio State. Michigan’s sign-stealing scheme is alleged to have been spearheaded by now-suspended recruiting analyst Connor Stalions, who has reportedly purchased tickets to over 40 college football games across the country over the last three seasons, often near the 50-yard line and across from the sideline of a future Michigan opponent.

While sign stealing in and of itself is not against NCAA rules, Michigan is being investigated by the NCAA – which was in Ann Arbor on Thursday to conduct their investigation – for allegedly using electronic equipment to record opposing teams’ signs and signals, an inquiry that was started following the investigation of an outside firm that obtained videos, documented plans and budgets for the illegal scouting. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has not been directly implicated in the scandal.

“Literally everybody we talked to knew,” one TCU coach told Yahoo Sports. “They’d say, ‘Just so you know, they steal your signals and they’re going to have everything so you better change them.’ ”

In response to learning information from several different Big Ten schools about Michigan’s sign stealing, took steps to help mitigate the impact, including changing play calls, sending play calls in late and sending out “dummy signals” to help throw the Wolverines off the scent.

“Sometimes we froze a play before the snap,” another 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.”

The Horned Frogs entered the game as underdogs and ultimately upset the Wolverines, 51-45, before suffering a 65-7 blowout to Georgia in the national championship game.

“(Stalions) was wrong a couple of times,” one TCU staff member said. “We rewatched the TV version of the game. You can see him standing next to the defensive coordinator. He tells something to the coordinator and he points in the air to mean pass. You can see the playsheet he’s holding with our hand signs on them.”

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