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Michigan, B1G Both Impacted When NOA Issued by NCAA

Michigan sanctions
© Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY NETWORK

In what has been a quiet few months for the University of Michigan and its fans regarding the investigation surrounding Connor Stalions and the alleged sign-stealing scandal, the quiet has ended. This past week rumors began to swirl that the NCAA is meeting very soon to finally discuss and issue Michigan a Notice of Allegations (NOA) on the Stalions sign-stealing investigation. The NCAA's decision will impact both Michigan and the Big Ten Conference when the NOA is finally announced.

Michigan fans have started to look to social media to find any information they can on what repercussions the Wolverines will face. According to rumors that have been floating around, the outlook is quite promising for Michigan. One insider went so far as to say when Michigan fans see the NOA it will be laughable.

This looks to be great news for Wolverine fans, after being hit with talks of vacated wins, postseason bans and a possible asterisk next to their 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship. Michigan and their fans are hoping the insiders are right and that they will get the last laugh. However, Michigan's rivals and detractors have been quick to point out many insiders have been somewhat off in their predictions as of late. 

There are groups on both sides thanks to the number of options and information that were put forth that now have a vested interest in the outcome and being proven right. For some, it was better to be first than to be right, while others played to their key groups and said what the masses wanted to hear.

The Scandal

The scandal began in October when Michigan came under investigation for possible in-person scouting of opposing teams for the purpose of stealing signs. The story quickly took on a life of its own and was everywhere in the media, and everyone had an opinion of what should be done or how Michigan should be held accountable. It was a story that never seemed to end, and the longer it went on the more ridiculous it became. To the point that a picture surfaced with Stalions on the sideline of a Central Michigan game against Michigan State, in East Lansing. That moment seems to have been the breaking point inside the B1G conference.

The story cost Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh a three-game suspension, while other coaches lost their jobs. Now the question that just might get answered is whether it was all worth it. What happens if the NOA is not as bad as we were all told it was going to be, and what happens if the Big Ten got it wrong in acting so fast?

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

What happens if the Big Ten and the charges in NOA are trivial? Did the B1G have their very own modern-day witch hunt? Did B1G Commissioner Tony Pettiti succumb to the pressure and make the wrong move? If the B1G was wrong, could Michigan now demand accountability from the conference, since the Wolverines look to have been treated guilty until proven innocent?

The B1G had the facts and Michigan needed to pay the price. The coaches from other B1G teams called for it, athletic directors called for it and the conference commissioner acted on it. Did the click-bait response by some in the media cause the B1G to quickly overreact and to mete out punishment precipitously?

What happens if this whole affair is overblown, and what happens if it is all much ado about nothing? Did the B1G just set an unwarranted precedent that a member university can be punished before all the evidence is evaluated? As it stands, it seems any member university, with application of the right amount of pressure, may be deemed guilty until proven innocent.

In the very near future, the NCAA is going to make a decision on how the Wolverines's role in the Stalions situation. Michigan is going to either be proven right—that the situation was overblown, or wrong—that everything was justified.

The NCAA decision will also effectively show if the B1G acted justifiably in how fast it acted or if it ultimately set a precedent that member schools can be held accountable even without all the information being provided.

The good news is that we are going to answer many of these questions very soon.



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