JUST IN: Big Ten coaches verdict on disciplining Michigan for sign-stealing as reveal by NFL insider

(AP) — Football coaches are putting pressure on Big Ten Conference Commissioner Tony Petitti to punish Michigan and coach Jim Harbaugh for an alleged sign-stealing scheme that has cast a shadow over the second-ranked Wolverines as the postseason approaches.

Frustrated Big Ten coaches push for league to discipline Michigan for sign- stealing, AP sources say – WOODTV.com

According to two people with knowledge of Wednesday’s meeting, one who listened in on the call and another who participated, coaches were angry and frustrated during a call with Petitti about the conference’s lack of action as mounting evidence supports allegations that a Michigan staffer sent people to games to do impermissible advanced scouting of opponents.

The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Thursday because the conference did not make its internal discussions public.

The initial College Football Playoff rankings this week, in which Michigan was ranked third, fueled coaches’ outrage over the inaction.

“They said it was an NCAA problem, not a CFP problem.” “It’s a football issue,” said the person on the phone.

Petitti first heard complaints from within the conference and calls for the league to take action during a regularly scheduled video call with Big Ten athletic directors last week. The call with coaches on Wednesday was also scheduled, but it was overshadowed by discussion of the current allegations against Michigan.

Big Ten coaches push for league to punish Michigan for sign-stealing

According to both sources, Petitti suggested a follow-up call with the coaches on Sunday.

Petitti met with the athletic directors again on Thursday, but no decisions were made.

According to one person who spoke to AP, Petitti told the ADs that he planned to meet with conference presidents and Michigan officials to gather as much information as possible.

Nebraska coach Matt Rhule told Andy Staples of On3 on Thursday that the meeting was the first opportunity for all of the coaches and the commissioner to discuss the Michigan case.

“I think it was a chance for everybody just to kind of talk about how they felt, how they were impacted,” Rhule said of Petitti, whom he called a “wonderful commissioner.”

“I think a lot of people’s lives, livelihoods, jobs, their seasons, players, players’ health, all kinds of things, have been impacted by this,” Rhule said in an interview.

Although NCAA rules do not prohibit sign stealing, bylaws do prohibit in-person, in-season scouting and the use of electronic equipment to record opponents’ signals. The allegations leveled against Michigan are detailed.

The NCAA is investigating the Michigan football program, according to Michigan and the Big Ten. Connor Stalions, a low-level staffer at Michigan, has been suspended.

Frustrated Big Ten coaches push league to discipline Michigan for sign- stealing - ĐÈN LED BA MIỀN

Over the last three seasons, multiple Big Ten schools have discovered tickets purchased in the Stallion’s name to their games. Tickets to the last two Southeastern Conference championship games were also purchased in the Stalions’ name, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The NCAA investigation is taking its time and will most likely last well past the CFP national championship game on January 8.

Even if NCAA enforcement was able to expedite the case and provide Michigan with an official notice of allegations as soon as possible, the university would still have 90 days to respond. Following that, there would be a hearing.

It’s unclear what kind of penalties the Big Ten could levy. The Big Ten bylaws do give the commissioner more leeway in dealing with issues of sportsmanship and competitive integrity.

Petitti would be acting on incomplete information. According to one person with knowledge of the situation, the NCAA has not shared much of its evidence with the Big Ten. Big Ten schools have provided documentation for ticket purchases made in the Stallion’s name, as well as video surveillance footage of people sitting in those seats with cellphones pointed toward the field, presumably for video recording.

Harbaugh already served a three-game suspension for an unrelated NCAA violation case at the start of the season.

This week, Michigan (8-0) hosts Purdue before wrapping up the regular season with road games against No. 11 Penn State and Maryland, as well as the traditional season finale at home against No. 3 Ohio State (No. 1 CFP).

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