What does it mean?
So, what does this mean for Michigan? Well, right now it’s very foggy. There are too many unknowns to make a conclusion, or really an educated guess. For one, who are the people that Stalions gave the tickets to? It’s not illegal to buy a ticket for someone else. If these people have a connection to Michigan football, things could get messy.
Second, how can you prove what they filmed? At Michigan games, there are 10,000+ phones recording at any given time. It’s perfectly legal to film. Hell, I could film the opposing sideline and it would be perfectly legal.
Last week, it was reported that Connor Stalions’ laptop was turned over to the NCAA. If there is sideline footage from the fans in the seats Stalions purchased, things will get messy. If not, however, and there’s no evidence of the footage, the investigation can’t really go anywhere.
Lastly, and probably most importantly in terms of potential infractions, was Stalions doing this on his own, or was this known amongst the staff?
First and foremost, we know that Jim Harbaugh is a good guy who stands by his players and would never take away from their accomplishments. It seems unlikely that he would have orchestrated or turned a blind eye to elaborate infractions.
The same can be said for most, if not all of the staff. I honestly think it’s unlikely that this staff would turn a blind eye to this if they knew. But it’s possible.
The big question becomes is there a paper trail here? Stalions just became an official staffer in 2022 after being a volunteer prior to that. Buying tickets to 30+ games, including two tickets to Penn State vs. Ohio State is very expensive, and his salary doesn’t appear to justify those purchases. Granted, nobody knows Stalions’ financial situation.
Was Stalions being reimbursed for this, or was it really on his own? If he really did pay for all of this himself, then this thing becomes a lot quieter. It possibly becomes legal at that point. The language in the NCAA rule book is very vague and prohibits either a staffer or a paid individual from attending games and scouting.
If it comes out that Stalions was being reimbursed for these tickets, then it becomes a whole lot harder to deny. It would put the Wolverines in a much deeper hole. So, how can this affect the rest of the season?