The NCAA notified the Big Ten on Monday that there are no known connections between Ohio State head coach Ryan Day or his family and the conference's investigation into Michigan, senior officials at both the association and conference told Yahoo Sports.
The NCAA is in the third week of its investigation into allegations that the Wolverines used an elaborate, multi-year, on-site, sign-stealing scheme. The organization’s probe into the program has ignited rampant speculation across social media and various websites, many of them targeting rival Big Ten schools for their involvement.
Over the weekend, one particular story gained attention in a viral nature. The story targeted Day and his family members for their involvement in the NCAA’s investigation. Day and family members have received threats as a result of the story, those with knowledge of the issue told Yahoo Sports.
Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti contacted NCAA officials on Monday in an effort to seek answers over the claim, senior officials at both the Big Ten and NCAA told Yahoo Sports. The NCAA confirmed that Day nor his family members had any involvement.
The exchange is the latest chapter in an ongoing saga that has gripped the college football world.
The NCAA has turned over its latest findings in the investigation to the Big Ten as Petitti considers a multi-game suspension of head coach Jim Harbaugh, Yahoo Sports reported Monday. Over the weekend, the Big Ten gave Michigan a two- to three-day window to mount a response to the sign-stealing allegations before any potential penalty is levied.
Meanwhile, school officials are gearing up for legal action tied to a significant fact in the case: The NCAA’s findings do not connect the alleged in-person scouting and recording of opponents’ sidelines to Harbaugh, sources say. A resolution around the issue is expected by the end of this week and as soon as Wednesday.
Petitti’s pursuit of potential penalties against Harbaugh, somewhat unprecedented, comes at a time when Big Ten athletic administrators and coaches are pressuring the commissioner to take action.
Michigan, 9-0 and No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings, travels to play at Penn State on Saturday. The Wolverines host Ohio State, also undefeated and currently ranked No. 1, on Nov. 25.
At the center of the alleged scheme, which Yahoo Sports was first to report on Oct. 19, is a former low-level analyst, Connor Stalions, who failed to cooperate with NCAA investigators last week and was dismissed, according to sources. The school announced Friday that he resigned.
Stalions is believed to have used as many as 65 associates to scout games, sources tell Yahoo Sports. While sign-stealing is not against NCAA rules, scouting a future opponent’s game is, as well as using recording devices to document signals.