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THE SMOKE SIGNAL

THE SMOKE SIGNAL

College football sign stealing controversy

For the first time in 27 years, college football giant Michigan University is finally back on top—but fittingly, it was a controversial climb to the peak. The Wolverines took down unbeaten Washington 34-13 to win the 2023-24 national championship in Houston. The game was tighter than the score suggests, as the Huskies were within a touchdown halfway through the final quarter. The game-sealing drive in the fourth quarter, capped off by Blake Corum’s first touchdown, drew a lot of controversy: the Wolverines were not called for holding on multiple alleged occasions, nor were they held to a 12-men-on-the-field penalty at one stage in the second half. 

Wolverines staffer Connor Stalions, who was accused of attending opponents’ games to steal the signs used to signal plays in college football, resigned, while head coach Jim Harbaugh was suspended three regular season games. In-helmet headsets that allow the coach to talk to the quarterback or defensive captain, as used in the NFL, are illegal in college. 

Stalions was accused of buying tickets to games against Michigan’s Big Ten Conference and possible future College Football Playoff opponents, then scouting and recording a video used to decode their in-game signals so the Wolverines could have an advantage in games. Harbaugh did not have a direct role in the incidents, but was suspended because he oversees the program. 

“Off the field issues? We’re innocent. We stood strong and tall because we knew we’re innocent,” Harbaugh claimed post-game. Connor Stalions recently deactivated his X (Twitter) account due to the sign-stealing scandals, but after Michigan trounced Washington in the title game, he reactivated it to post an animated image celebrating the Wolverines’ victory. [different conclusion that provides a new take on what you’ve already said/summarize (don’t just restate what you’ve already written but slightly different)]

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