The Michigan football program has found itself in some hot water.
Reports came out Thursday that the NCAA is investigating the U-M program for allegedly violating rules that prohibit teams from scouting future opponents in person.
Along with the potential NCAA issues, this investigation could ultimately have an impact on sports betting in Michigan and the country.
Michigan accused of stealing signs from future opponents
Specifically, the investigation is on alleged sign stealing.
Michigan is being accused of sending representatives to future opponents’ games to gather information on signs used to call plays on offense and defense. And, possible College Football Playoff opponents were also alleged to have been scouted.
Notably, the accusations would violate NCAA Bylaw 11.6.1. It states: “Off-campus, in-person scouting of future opponents (in the same season) is prohibited.”
Further, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh denied any knowledge of the accusations and said his staff would fully cooperate with the investigation.
“I do not have any knowledge or information regarding the University of Michigan football program illegally stealing signals, nor have I directed any staff member or others to participate in an off-campus scouting assignment,” Harbaugh said in a statement.
And, ESPN reports that a low-level staffer with a military background, Connor Stalions, is one of the people of interest in the investigation.
Stalions is a football analyst with Michigan. He is a retired captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. On Friday, Michigan suspended Stalions with pay while the investigation is ongoing.
Also, the NCAA notified future opponents of the investigation, including Saturday’s opponent, Michigan State.
Sportsbook operators made aware of scandal
Aside from the potential NCAA violations, this scandal could also have an impact on sports betting.
U.S. Integrity, a Las Vegas firm that monitors sports betting in the country, alerted various sportsbook operators as to the Michigan investigation.
The NCAA is gambled on in a variety of sports. So, certifying the integrity of their athletic contests is a high priority.
Currently, no sportsbooks have elected to pull odds for Michigan’s game against Michigan State. The Wolverines also haven’t been pulled from future markets at online sportsbooks.
Michigan finds itself as a 24-point favorite at most Michigan sportsbooks against MSU.
This week, the Wolverines also became the favorite to win the College Football Playoffs at select books.