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Ex-Michigan staffer Connor Stalions did not file any expense reports, AP’s FOIA request finds

by Ethan Kim
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Sign-Stealing Investigation

Former Michigan staff member, Connor Stalions, who has been at the center of an NCAA investigation into sign-stealing, has come under scrutiny for not submitting any expense reports during his 17-month tenure with the football program, as revealed in a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by The Big Big News.

Stalions, who was employed by Michigan from May 2022 to November 3, 2023, reportedly failed to provide any expense reports during his time with the university, according to a response from Patricia Sellinger, the chief freedom of information officer at the school.

The FOIA request was made to obtain Stalions’ expense reports and shed light on his activities while employed by the university. However, the response indicated that there were no records available, raising further questions about the nature of his involvement.

The NCAA, in the course of its investigation, has documented plans and budget details related to the alleged sign-stealing scheme targeting Michigan’s opponents. The Big Ten conference has also received these materials. Furthermore, the NCAA has shared evidence with both the Big Ten and the university, demonstrating that Stalions purchased game tickets and had individuals occupy specific seats to capture video footage of sideline signals.

As a result of these revelations, Michigan’s head coach, Jim Harbaugh, faced a suspension for the final three regular-season games, imposed by the Big Ten. Notably, the Big Ten stated that it did not possess any evidence implicating the coach in the scheme. Consequently, Harbaugh was absent during Michigan’s recent victory over then-No. 9 Penn State.

In response to the suspension, the school has sought to challenge the Big Ten’s penalty, aiming to temporarily lift it to allow Harbaugh to coach the second-ranked Wolverines in upcoming games against Maryland and rival Ohio State. A hearing on this matter has been scheduled for Friday.

Stalions, who served as a recruiting analyst at Michigan, drew an annual salary of approximately $55,000. He resigned from his position earlier this month, following a suspension by the university, subsequent to the initiation of investigations by both the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference.

It is important to note that the NCAA does not explicitly prohibit sign-stealing; however, there are rules against the use of electronic equipment to record opponents’ signals and against in-person, advanced scouting of future opponents during the season. Moreover, there are regulations in place against unsportsmanlike or unethical conduct by coaches.

Stalions, who has been identified on social media as a Naval Academy graduate and a devoted Michigan football enthusiast, has refrained from making any public comments on the matter. His lawyer stated that neither Harbaugh nor any member of his coaching staff instructed anyone to violate rules or were aware of any improper conduct related to scouting.

Jim Harbaugh has consistently denied any knowledge of the alleged scouting scheme within his program, maintaining his innocence in the matter.

For further updates on this developing story, you can follow Larry Lage at https://twitter.com/LarryLage and Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP, as well as listen to updates on http://www.appodcasts.com.

To stay informed about the latest AP Top 25 poll updates throughout the season, you can sign up here: https://bigbignews.net/college-football and https://bigbignews.net/ap-top-25-college-football-poll.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Sign-Stealing Investigation

Q: What was the outcome of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding Connor Stalions’ expense reports?

A: The FOIA request for Connor Stalions’ expense reports during his time with Michigan revealed that there were no responsive records, indicating a lack of submitted expense reports.

Q: Why was Jim Harbaugh suspended by the Big Ten?

A: Jim Harbaugh, Michigan’s head coach, was suspended for the final three regular-season games by the Big Ten due to his association with the sign-stealing investigation. However, the Big Ten clarified that there was no evidence implicating him in the alleged scheme.

Q: What actions did the NCAA take in response to the sign-stealing investigation?

A: The NCAA documented plans and budget details related to the alleged sign-stealing scheme involving Michigan’s opponents. They also shared evidence with both the Big Ten and the university, showing that Stalions purchased game tickets and had individuals occupy specific seats to obtain video footage of sideline signals.

Q: Has Connor Stalions made any public statements regarding the investigation?

A: No, Connor Stalions has not made any public comments on the matter. His lawyer has stated that neither Jim Harbaugh nor any member of his coaching staff instructed anyone to break rules or were aware of any improper conduct related to scouting.

Q: What legal actions are being taken in response to the suspension of Jim Harbaugh?

A: A hearing has been scheduled to consider the school’s attempt to at least temporarily lift the Big Ten’s penalty on Jim Harbaugh, allowing him to coach upcoming games against Maryland and Ohio State.

Q: What are the key rules and regulations related to sign-stealing in the NCAA?

A: While the NCAA does not directly ban sign-stealing, there are rules against using electronic equipment to record an opponent’s signals and in-person, advanced scouting of future opponents during the season. Additionally, there are rules against unsportsmanlike or unethical activities by coaches.

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