For those who might somehow be unaware, the skinny of the situation is that the Wolverines have allegedly been stealing signs from Big Ten and possible College Football Playoff opponents. Staff analyst Connor Stalions and a network he organized allegedly bought tickets to these games and filmed opposing sidelines to steal the signals. The video component is illegal in college football, hence the cheating scandal really picking up steam.
Naturally, the media has been asking college football coaches throughout the country for their reactions, which have been varied. But no one has downplayed the severity of the allegations more than Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders.
Deion Sanders downplays Michigan cheating scandal
Sanders asserted that every coach and team is looking for "an edge" but that the end result still required having the players and ability to stop an opponent.
"I mean, everyone’s trying to get an edge," Sanders said in a press conference on Tuesday, via On3. "Everyone’s trying to get whatever edge they can. You can have someone’s whole game plan, they could mail it to you. You’ve still got to stop it."
Sanders elaborated on that and, given the unique qualifications of his playing days in both the NFL and MLB, he inadvertently compared the severity of sign-stealing in football to the Astros scandal in baseball, asserting that it's far more helpful on the diamond than the gridiron.
"In football, it’s not as pronounced as baseball," Sanders said. "If I know a curveball is coming, I got you. With football, I don’t give a darn — if you know a sweep is coming, you’ve still got to stop it, physically. It’s a physical game. You’ve got to stop it. So, that’s a little tough. I don’t buy into a lot of that stuff that someone’s stealing this, stealing that. I don’t buy a lot of that. You’ve still got to play the game"
That's certainly not a take that we've heard as a result of this scandal at Michigan. However, Sanders is, again, maybe the most qualified person to speak on the differences between sign-stealing in football versus the same in baseball. So perhaps his assessment of the situation should carry a bit more weight than others?
In any case, this isn't going away for the Wolverines. More information continues to come to light and it all looks bad for Jim Harbaugh and Co.