Tom Allen’s initial reaction when asked about the Michigan sign stealing investigation suggests he has a lot of thoughts about the situation involving a team he’s faced every season since becoming the head coach at Indiana.
And some of those thoughts won’t be shared with the public anytime soon.
Allen grinned ear-to-ear Monday morning when he was asked about it, then dropped his head and let out a laugh.
“Do I have any thoughts? That’s loaded,” he said.
— Mike Schumann @ The Daily Hoosier (@daily_hoosier) October 30, 2023
Based on that reaction, it feels safe to assume there’s probably quite a bit more Allen wanted to say than what he actually did say.
In case this story has completely missed you, Michigan football analyst Connor Stalions has been accused of leading an elaborate sign-stealing ring which included 12 Big Ten schools as well as several College Football Playoff contenders.
Scouting future opponents in person has been prohibited by the NCAA since 1994.
“Any attempt to record, either through audio or video means, any signals given by an opposing player, coach or other team personnel is prohibited,” the NCAA football rulebook states.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has denied knowledge of any attempt to steal opponent signs and will cooperate with the NCAA investigation, he said in a statement when the news broke a couple weeks ago.
After acknowledging he doesn’t know the particulars of the Michigan investigation, Allen did quickly regain composure and went on to discuss concerns about the integrity of the game raised by potential sign stealing.
“I don’t know what’s going on there (at Michigan),” Allen said. “I know there’s a gamesmanship, in-game signals. That’s why you see all the contraptions. We kind of laugh sometimes about all the stuff we go into. We’ve got three different signal callers wearing goofy looking shirts and hats and all these different colors. So that’s the gamesmanship of it.
“But there’s also an integrity of the game. I just believe in that. I believe in doing things the right way. You’ve got to be able to stand up and give account for how you operate as a man. Look yourself in the mirror and know you do things the right way.
“I’m not saying they did it. I don’t know what’s going on there. I just want to say we need to protect the integrity of the game. That’s my stance on that, and I think that’s important.”
Michigan announced 10 days ago that Stalions had been suspended in the wake of an NCAA investigation into Michigan’s alleged sign-stealing process.
Athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement that Stalions would be suspended with pay until the completion of the investigation. Stalions was identified by multiple Big Ten staff members.
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