Big Ten coaches make push to punish Michigan
Per Pete Thamel of ESPN, a significant number of Big Ten coaches expressed their disappointment over Michigan's sign-stealing allegations during a video conference with Commissioner Petitti on Wednesday evening.
The 90-minute call, which was held for nearly an hour without the presence of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, transpired after the Big Ten's standard business meeting. Harbaugh's hiatus allowed the conference coaches to openly discuss the ongoing NCAA investigation into Michigan's alleged cheating. The NCAA has conducted interviews with Michigan staff members regarding the claims.
During the call, coaches reportedly responded to the inner workings of the operation to Petitti, characterizing it as "tainted" and "fraudulent."
This week, the scandal took a new turn when Central Michigan initiated an inquiry into photographs that seemingly depicted now-suspended Wolverines staff member Connor Stalions standing on their sideline during the season opener against Michigan State.
Stalions, the key figure in Michigan's sign-stealing scandal, was confirmed to have purchased tickets for games involving 12 out of 13 Big Ten schools, 2021 and 2022 SEC title games, and games hosted in four different campus stadiums associated with College Football Playoff contenders last season.
Will Michigan's cheating scandal affect their 2023 Playoff standing?
As week 10 of the season approaches, Michigan maintains its dominance, holding an impeccable 8-0 record.
On Tuesday, they clinched the third spot in the first of this season's six-part College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings.
College Football Playoff chairman Boo Corrigan has explicitly stated that the ongoing investigation does not presently affect the team's eligibility for the Playoffs.
"It's an NCAA issue, it's not a CFP issue," he said. "At this point and time, as we're looking at this, we want to make sure that we get not only the top for teams but the top 25 teams right."
Any potential disciplinary action against Michigan football this season that can prevent them from participating in the Playoff would fall within the purview of the Big Ten. The conference's sportsmanship policy grants Commissioner Tony Petitti the power to enforce disciplinary measures.
Cover photo: Justin Casterline / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP