CMU football head coach Jim McElwain speaks on 'sign stealer' allegations


Coach Jim McElwain hangs his head during their game against Ball State on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Kelly Shorts Stadium.

Central Michigan University is currently investigating a photo of a man who appeared to be University of Michigan football employee Connor Stalions on the sideline of CMU’s game at Michigan State earlier this fall.

Athletic director Amy Folan said in a statement that the university was made aware of the photos late Monday night and that they are working to find more evidence in investigation.

“We became aware of these photos late yesterday and we are in the process of determining the facts surrounding them,” Folan said Tuesday. “As this process is ongoing, we have no further comment at this time.”

After CMU’s 37-31 win over Northern Illinois on Tuesday, head coach Jim McElwain addressed the media on the allegations. In his opening statement during the press conference, he didn’t use Stalions' name but referred to him as “the sign stealer guy” while also saying he does not condone the actions.

“We're unaware, totally unaware of it (of Stalions on the sideline), I certainly don't condone it in any way, shape, or form,” McElwain said.

McElwain also touched on the fact that if it were Stalions on the sidelines, he was not there with the team as Stalions was not on any pass list for CMU.

“I do know that his name was on none of the passes that were let out,” McElwain said. “Now we just keep tracing it back and try to figure it out. But it's in good hands with our people, and, again, you know, there's no place in football for that.”

Stalions, who served as a voluntary assistant at Michigan from 2015-2022, was hired to be an off-field analyst in 2022. In the last three years at Michigan, he has bought 30 tickets at 11 different Big Ten schools where he allegedly recorded the signs of opposing teams.

The University of Michigan has been investigated since Oct. 20, when the institution suspended Stalions with pay. Videos and photos then started to surface of Stalions on the sideline by Michigan coordinators during big games, along with receipts of purchased seats on each sidelines of upcoming opponents.

As more details come out on the investigation, we will provide updates.