The alleged Michigan sign-stealing scheme has expanded yet again.
Staffer Connor Stalions, who has been at the center of the alleged plot, paid a former Division-III coach to attend and record future opponents’ games and sidelines, according to ESPN.
The outlet reported that the former coach, who was given “a couple hundred dollars,” attended games at Penn State and Rutgers last season and was also at a Penn State game against UMass on Oct. 14, though he only stayed for half the game due to weather.
The former coach also said Stalions gave him a ticket to this week’s Indiana vs. Penn State game, but he now won’t be attending.
According to ESPN, the ex-coach — who said he was paid by Stalions through a personal Venmo account — recorded both the sidelines and the field in order for signals to be seen.
He took the videos on his phone and uploaded them to an album Stalions had access to, ESPN reported.
“I wasn’t doing it for personal gain or hoping to get my foot in the door if Connor becomes a head coach someday,” the former coach said. “It was just I got to go to some Big Ten games, alright sweet. And everyone else I felt was doing it to some degree.”
This comes one day after revelations that at least one team was aware of the alleged operation and used “dummy signals” to counter the scheme.
In last year’s College Football Playoff, TCU was warned about the alleged plot and used maneuvers to work around the sign stealing, Yahoo reported.
“Sometimes we froze a play before the snap,” one TCU coach told Yahoo. “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.”
Stalions reportedly purchased tickets to more than 40 college football games and distributed them out to others in order to learn other teams’ signs.
The NCAA began an investigation last week and had people on Michigan’s campus this week to ask members of coach Jim Harbaugh’s staff about the allegations, the Associated Press reported.
The Washington Post reported this week that an outside investigative firm tipped off the NCAA about the alleged scheme.
Stalions, a former captain with the United States Marine Corps, was suspended by the school in the wake of the allegations.
In-person scouting of future opponents was banned by the NCAA in 1994.