College football’s governing body, the NCAA, has notified the Michigan football that the program is under investigation alleged sign-stealing. NCAA officials also notified the Big Ten Conference of the investigation on Wednesday.
Michigan released a statement saying the university is cooperating with the conference and the NCAA. “The university is fully cooperating with the Big Ten and NCAA. The investigation is ongoing and will not impact Saturday’s game,” the university said in a statement. “At the University of Michigan, we are committed to the highest ethical and integrity standards for all members of our community.”
The Wolverines are undefeated and will remain in-state this weekend to play Michigan State.
The Big Ten did not provide further details but stated that it had notified Michigan’s upcoming opponents about the investigation.
“The Big Ten Conference considers the integrity of competition to be of utmost importance and will continue to monitor the investigation,” the conference said in a statement.
According to a Yahoo Sports report, Michigan allegedly sent people to games of teams they are scheduled to play in the near future in an effort to gather information on signs used to call plays on offense and defense.
The NCAA rule book does not have rules that specially prohibit stealing signs. However, the association does have rules against in-person advanced scouting of opponents. The alleged sign-stealing acts could be classified as an unsportsmanlike activity, which the NCAA strictly prohibits.
Jim Harbaugh served a self-imposed three-game suspension earlier this season due to an NCAA investigation into impermissible contact with recruits.
In a statement released by the university in August, Harbaugh said, “I will continue to do what I always tell our players and my kids at home, ‘Don’t get bitter, get better.'”
That case has not yet been resolved, as the NCAA’s committee on infractions rejected a potential negotiated settlement regarding Harbaugh’s involvement in the case based on his cooperation with investigators.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.