The NCAA has yet to announce its findings from the investigation into former Michigan football staffer Connor Stalions, who is at the center of Michigan’s alleged sign-stealing operation. Stalions is also being investigated by the NCAA and Central Michigan University after he appeared on the sidelines during last season’s opener against Michigan State, drawing attention from Spartans’ athletic director Alan Haller.

The incident has put a spotlight on Michigan State’s future relationship with Central Michigan, as the Spartans have games scheduled with the Chippewas in 2027 and 2030. Stalions, who appeared in Central Michigan gear, was possibly scouting the Spartans for a game against Michigan later that season. This has raised concerns about the integrity of the competition, and Haller is closely watching the outcome of the investigation, which could impact future interactions between Michigan State and Central Michigan.

Central Michigan head coach Jim McElwain addressed the allegations after Stalions stepped down from his recruiting assistant role a few weeks following the game against the Spartans. Reports indicate Stalions had purchased tickets under his own name for more than 30 games at 11 Big Ten schools over the last three seasons. McElwain emphasized that his team was unaware of Stalions’ actions and does not condone such behavior, stressing that their internal investigation is ongoing.

Stalions, a retired United States Marine Corps captain, is accused of leading Michigan’s scouting operation, which allegedly violated NCAA rules prohibiting in-person scouting of future opponents. Numerous Big Ten coaches and staffers have identified Stalions as the key figure in Michigan’s sign-stealing efforts, which some teams have known about for at least a year.

Ohio State also has a significant stake in this issue. Outgoing Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith believes there should be an asterisk on Michigan’s wins over Ohio State amid the sign-stealing scandal. The NCAA has been investigating Michigan since last October, after discovering the program’s use of illegal in-person scouting to steal opponents’ signals. The NCAA informed the Big Ten in November that it had proof Stalions orchestrated a scheme involving individuals attending the games of upcoming opponents and recording their signals, violating NCAA rules.

Stalions was on Michigan’s staff for their wins over Ohio State in 2021 and 2022. He resigned on November 3, three weeks before Michigan’s 2023 win over Ohio State, following the NCAA’s investigation. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was suspended for the final three games of the regular season, yet the Wolverines, who went on to win the national championship, have not yet been sanctioned by the NCAA.

Smith suggests that the NCAA’s eventual penalties might not meet the high expectations of Ohio State fans. As his tenure as Ohio State’s athletic director concludes in June, he urges the Buckeyes to focus on the future and prepare for their next game against Michigan on November 30 at Ohio Stadium. The anticipation for this game remains high, and Ohio State is determined to end their losing streak against Michigan.