NCAA president offers up solution to sign-stealing in wake of Michigan football scandal


PULLMAN, Wash. – The president of the NCAA wants to restart discussions about getting helmet radio technology in college football as a way to avoid the controversy currently engulfing the Michigan Wolverines.

Charlie Baker, the new NCAA president, told USA TODAY Sports in an interview Friday that “my goal is going to be to try to get it back on the agenda” after previous discussions about it at the NCAA level didn’t go anywhere.

He declined comment on the NCAA’s investigation into Michigan, which is facing allegations that it violated an NCAA rule prohibiting in-person advance scouting of opponents to steal play-calling signals. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh this week accepted a three-game suspension as punishment for it as part of a settlement with the Big Ten Conference.

“Michigan has been a very collaborative partner all the way through the process, and we’re gonna pursue it until we finish interviewing everybody that is scheduled to be interviewed and review all the documents that we’ve asked for,” Baker said Friday here at Washington State University, where he was visiting.

Other forms of sign-stealing are not against the rules, such using game film to decipher signals. But using video recordings to decode coaches’ signals from the sidelines is illegal under NCAA rules. So is in-person advance scouting, which violates an NCAA rule instituted in 1994 that prohibited it as a way to keep costs down for those who couldn’t afford such an operation. Some have argued the rule is antiquated because it’s no longer hard to afford in an era of $77 million coaching buyouts and conference realignment driven by lucrative television contracts.

What can the NCAA do about this?

Helmet technology could make old-fashioned handmade play signals obsolete with the use of audio communication from coaches through…

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Author : USA TODAY Sports

Publish date : 2023-11-18 03:39:29

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