Michigan Scouts Reportedly Planned to Attend As Many As Eight Ohio State Games This Season, Per Evidence Presented to NCAA

By Dan Hope on October 25, 2023 at 7:31 pm
Jim Harbaugh and Connor Stalions
Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY Network

Michigan reportedly planned to spend over $3,000 to scout as many as eight Ohio State games this season, according to evidence presented to the NCAA by an outside investigative firm.

According to Will Hobson of The Washington Post, the NCAA’s investigation into Michigan’s alleged sign-stealing operation began when an outside investigative firm approached the NCAA with documents and videos the firm said it obtained from computer drives maintained and accessed by multiple Michigan coaches.

The evidence presented by the NCAA to the firm reportedly included “a detailed schedule of Michigan’s planned sign-stealing travel for the rest of this season, listing opponents’ schedules, which games Michigan scouts would attend, and how much money was budgeted for travel and tickets to scout each team.” Per that schedule, Michigan’s sign-stealing operation planned to spend more than $15,000 in total sending scouts to more than 40 games played by 10 opponents.

In addition to Ohio State, Michigan also planned to spend more than $3,000 scouting Georgia this season with four or five games scheduled for in-person scouting and video recording.

Evidence presented to the NCAA also included photographs of people investigators believed to be Michigan scouts, including current students interning with the football program. Per the report, “the photos showed these people seated at games of Michigan opponents this season, aiming their cellphones at the sidelines.” Videos from those games “were uploaded to a computer drive maintained and accessed by Stalions as well as several other Michigan assistants and coaches.”

The evidence presented by the outside firm did not directly link Harbaugh to the sign-stealing operation, according to sources who spoke to the Washington Post. Harbaugh denied knowledge of the alleged sign-stealing scheme in a statement last week, though photos and videos have shown Stalions standing next to Harbaugh as well as offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore and defensive coordinator Jesse Minter during games. 

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