Connor Stalions, Michigan football staffer at center of sign-stealing scandal, resigns

Connor Stalions, the Michigan Wolverines football staffer at the center of the program's sign-stealing scandal, has resigned, according to a statement from the school.

"Connor Stalions resigned his position with Michigan Athletics this afternoon. We are unable to comment further regarding this personnel matter," Michigan said in a statement.

Prior to Michigan's statement, multiple reports suggested that Stalions was fired.

According to The Athletic, Stalions "refused to cooperate with any internal or external investigations or discussions." Per the Associated Press, Stalions "failed to show up for a scheduled hearing Friday and informed the school through his attorney he would not participate in any internal or external investigations."

Stalions has been accused of buying tickets to games against Michigan's Big Ten Conference and possible future College Football Playoff opponents, scouting and recording video that would be used to decode their in-game signals so the Wolverines could have an advantage in games. In-person scouting is against NCAA rules.

“As he informed the school earlier today, Connor chose to resign because recent stories regarding his time with the University of Michigan have created a distraction for the team,” Brad Beckworth, Stalions' attorney, told The Athletic.

“He hopes his resignation will help the team and coaching staff focus on (Saturday's) game and the remainder of the season. Connor also wants to make it clear that, to his knowledge, neither Coach (Jim) Harbaugh, nor any other coach or staff member, told anyone to break any rules or were aware of improper conduct regarding the recent allegations of advanced scouting.”

Big Ten Commissioner Tony Petitti met with Michigan President Santa Ono and athletic director Warde Manuel on Friday as the conference weighs whether to discipline the Wolverines’ football program for the scouting and sign-stealing scheme. Petitti was in Ann Arbor for the Big Ten field hockey championships. Big Ten spokeswoman Diane Dietz confirmed to the AP that Petitti met with Ono and Warde but provided no details.

The 28-year-old Stalions, a retired captain from the U.S. Marine Corps and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, allegedly bought tickets, using his real name, to almost three dozen games over the past three seasons. According to, 12 different Big Ten schools were scouted and the use of electronics and a paper trail were also found. Stalions then forwarded tickets to others around the country and also used television broadcasts to further the scheme. Central Michigan is investigating if Stalions was on the sidelines for their game against Michigan State.

Stalions was suspended by the university with pay two weeks ago. The NCAA is also investigating the allegations. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has denied any involvement in the sign-stealing scheme.

The No. 2 ranked Wolverines are scheduled to face Purdue on Saturday night in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In the first College Football Playoff rankings announced on Tuesday, Michigan was seeded third behind Big Ten rival Ohio State and two-time defending national champion Georgia.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Michigan's Connor Stalions, accused of football sign stealing, resigns