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Report: TCU Learned of Michigan’s Sign-Stealing Scheme Ahead of CFP Game

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 31: Michigan Wolverines Offensive Lineman Ryan Hayes (76) laterals during the fourth quarter of the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal game between the Texas Christian Horned Frogs and the Michigan Wolverines on December 31th, 2022, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ. (Photo by Zac BonDurant/Icon Sportswire)

TCU knew about Michigan football and its alleged sign stealing scheme before last season’s College Football Playoff matchup, Ross Dellenger of Yahoo! Sports reported Thursday evening.

Dellenger reported that TCU coaches had gained information on Michigan’s scheme that is currently under NCAA investigation.

To account for it, TCU’s coaches changed a lot of their signals before game time.

Head coach Sonny Dykes decided to mix in TCU’s old signals with new ones to fool Michigan. A TCU staff member told Yahoo! that these were called “dummy signals”— old play calls that had been altered. TCU then told its players to not pay attention to the dummy signals but instead run the original play with the revised signals.

TCU (+7.5) ended up upsetting Michigan, 51-45.

This scandal is relevant to many teams both in and out of the Big Ten.

Penn State’s one of those teams.

Michigan staffer Connor Stalions is at the center of this investigation.

Sources told ESPN earlier this week that Stalions purchased tickets on both sides of Ohio Stadium for this past Saturday’s Penn State-Ohio State game.

ESPN reported that the tickets went unused.

The day before PSU-OSU, Stalions’s name emerged in another ESPN story relating to the NCAA’s impeding investigation of Michigan for alleged sign stealing.

According to Yahoo!, Michigan is alleged to have had people attending games of future scheduled opponents and potential College Football Playoff opponents. The purpose of their presence was to find out info on signs these teams use for play calling on both sides of the ball. If Michigan is found guilty, it will have violated NCAA Bylaw 11.6.1. This bylaw says that “Off-campus, in-person scouting of future opponents (in the same season) is prohibited.”

One TCU coach told Dellenger that there were times when the team “froze a play before the snap.”

“We’d call a play and then we’d signal in another play with an old signal but we told players to run the original play.”

Michigan plays at Penn State Nov. 11.

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