Central Michigan coach says Michigan suspended staffer, suspected sign-stealer wasn't on pass list

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — Central Michigan football coach Jim McElwain said now-suspended Michigan football staffer Connor Stalions ’ name was not on his team’s pass list to have sideline access and scout Michigan State during a season-opening game in September.

Photos circulating on the internet suggest that Stalions was on the Chippewas’ sideline during the Sept. 1 game. The Wolverines played and beat rival Michigan State 49-0 last month.

McElwain said Tuesday that Central Michigan is aware of the photo with “the sign-stealer guy,” and is investigating.

“I certainly don’t condone it in any way, shape or form," said McElwain, a former Florida coach who was on Jim Harbaugh's staff at Michigan in 2018. "I do know that his name was on none of the passes that were let out. We keep tracing it back to try to figure it out. It’s in good hands with our people.

“There’s no place in football for that.”

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

Central Michigan athletic director Amy Folan said the school became aware of the photos Monday night.

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.

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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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football