Gophers AD Mark Coyle: ‘Integrity compromised’ by Michigan sign saga

Gophers Athletics Director Mark Coyle told KFAN on Saturday “the integrity of the game has been compromised” with the Michigan sign-stealing scandal.

“The integrity of the game is the most important thing; we talk about it all the time,” Coyle told the radio station during the Gophers’ pregame show. ‘The Big Ten has talked about it for over 100 years of existence. There is no doubt the integrity of the game has been compromised.”

Coyle and other Big Ten ADs met with commissioner Tony Petitti on a video call Thursday to discuss issues with the Wolverines that came to light in early October. Big Ten football coaches met with the new commish earlier this week.

“I’ve expressed our disappointment,” Coyle said.

Coyle said the issue wil go to the COP/C — the Big Ten’s Committee of Presidents and Chancellors. Timing is yet to be determined on if and when Petitt and the COP/C might make a ruling on a potential punishment via the Big Ten’s sportsmanship policy. The NCAA has been conducting the investigation.

Petitti was Major League Baseball’s as a deputy commissioner and Chief Operations Officer from 2014-20 and during the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scheme in 2017.

“This isn’t his first rodeo,” Coyle said. “I have confidence in him and I’m confident he will do the right thing.”

Before the NCAA investigation into the Michigan sign-stealing operation becoming public on Oct. 17, the Gophers had already went from taking signals from the sideline in the Louisiana win on Sept. 30 to huddling up against the Wolverines on Oct. 7. Michigan won 52-10 at Huntington Bank Stadium.

“It’s not fair to the Michigan student-athletes, but it’s also not fair to Minnesota students athletes and all the other people that play Michigan in the past two, three years,” Coyle said.

Sign-stealing is permissible during games, but evidence has come out that Wolverines staffer Connor Stalions has been filming opposing signs while in stadiums, which is prohibited. A ticket was sold via StubHub to a Connor Stalions for the Gophers-Ohio State game in 2021, the U told the Pioneer Press in a data request last week.

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