Big Ten Reportedly Doesn't Have to Wait for NCAA Investigation to Conclude to Impose Penalties on Michigan, Connor Stalions Bought Tickets to Games of Four Potential CFP Opponents

By 11W Staff on October 24, 2023 at 8:24 pm

More details continue to emerge from the Michigan sign-stealing scandal.

According to a report from ESPN's Pete Thamel, Mark Schlabach and Adam Rittenberg Tuesday evening, the Big Ten doesn't actually need to wait until the NCAA investigation into Michigan is complete if it wants to impose a penalty on the member school, though a source cautioned the conference would want to have "as full of a picture of what the facts actually are if we were to act" before the NCAA concludes its investigation, which isn't expected to be until sometime in 2024.

Per the Big Ten's sportsmanship policy, commissioner Tony Petitti has the "exclusive authority to determine whether offensive actions have occurred" and to impose discipline for members.

The conference has two disciplinary categories, the first of which is limited to fines no larger than $10,000 and a suspension of two games. The second category is for more severe penalties and requires approval from an executive committee made up of representatives of different schools.

The report also stated that the Michigan staffer alleged to have led the charge with the sign stealing, Connor Stalions, had purchased tickets to games at 12 of the 13 other Big Ten Schools. Per the report, there's also a record of Stalions buying tickets to the 2021 and 2022 SEC championship games on the secondary market and at four schools outside of the Big Ten that were either in College Football Playoff contention or playing CFP contenders. ESPN has been able to confirm that Stalions had purchased tickets to at least four games Ohio State had participated in. 

Yahoo Sports' Ross Dellenger released a report of his own Tuesday evening and identified some of the non-Big Ten games Stallions purchased tickets to. Per the report, Stallions purchased tickets to Tennessee vs. Kentucky game before transferring the ticket to another person, and also bought tickets to games involving Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Oregon's game vs. Washington. For the Oregon vs. Washington game, Stalions transferred his ticket, which was facing the Oregon sideline. 

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