Ex-Michigan staffer Stalions did not file any expense report, FOIA shows

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Connor Stalions, the former Michigan football recruiting staffer who is now the center of the NCAA’s sign-stealing investigation into the Wolverines, did not file a single expense report while he was employed by the football team from Sept. 1, 2021-Oct. 15, 2023, according to documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press.

The Free Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request for any and all expense reimbursement submissions from Stalions, but the request was denied because the university said it has no record of any such request.

‘There are no responsive records,’ FOIA coordinator Shannon Hill wrote in an e-mail to the Free Press.

Stalions allegedly purchased tickets on the sideline of Michigan’s future opponents, which he would send to accomplices for them to attend games, record videos of the team’s sideline with their phone, then send back to Stalions to time-up the game tape and decipher the signals.

According to reports, there’s evidence Stalions purchased 35 tickets at more than 17 different schools dating to the 2021 season. The NCAA has also handed the Big Ten evidence of the scouting scheme that included a budget, which was originally reported to be up to $15,000 for this season.

Before he was suspended with pay on Oct. 20, Stalions was paid $55,000 annually as a recruiting analyst according to the university’s public data.

The Lake Orion native and Naval Academy graduate formally resigned on Nov. 3, a team spokesman confirmed to the Freep after initial reports surfaced that he was fired. Stalions later put out a statement saying he did ‘not want to be a distraction from what I hope to be a championship run for the team’ before he added he ‘will continue to cheer them on.’

Last Friday, the Big Ten suspended Jim Harbaugh for the final three games of the regular season for violating the Big Ten’s sportsmanship policy for ‘conducting an impermissible, in-person scouting operation over multiple years, resulting in an unfair competitive advantage that compromised the integrity of competition’ according to the 13-page letter.

The league’s commissioner, Tony Petitti, made it clear there has not been evidence presented that shows Harbaugh had direct knowledge of the scheme, rather that as the head of the football program, the buck ultimately stops with him.

‘I want to make it clear that I, and my staff, will fully cooperate with the investigation into this matter,’ Harbaugh wrote in an initial statement. ‘I do not have any knowledge or information regarding the University of Michigan football program illegally stealing signals, nor have I directed staff members or others to participate in an off-campus scouting assignment. I have no awareness of anyone on our staff having done that or having directed that action.’

Harbaugh, who missed last week’s win against Penn State, is scheduled to be heard in front of Judge Timothy Connors in Washtenaw County on Friday at 9 a.m., as the program seeks a temporary restraining order against the Big Ten’s suspension.

If granted an injunction, Harbaugh would be allowed to coach the next two weeks; Saturday at Maryland (noon, Fox) and then in the regular season finale against undefeated Ohio State.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY