Never assume you know the next twist in the Michigan sign-stealing scandal. There's always something new.
On Friday, On3 reported a bombshell from Michigan's side of things: The Wolverines are gathering evidence to show that Ohio State head coach Ryan Day is linked to private investigators who may have sparked the investigation into Connor Stalions and Michigan's alleged sign stealing.
Here's how On3 phrased it:
Reporters are working to put the pieces together, but we know Michigan is currently in possession of documents that could link one of the alleged investigators to Day’s younger brother, Timothy Day. The other they suspect is linked to Day’s brother, Christopher, and was also a classmate of Tim Day’s in New Hampshire. One currently runs a private investigation firm in Manchester, N.H., Day’s hometown.
In addition, other sources at Michigan allege some of the evidence — specifically, a spreadsheet provided to the Washington Post with analyst Connor Stalions’ travel plans and budget for his operation in which he allegedly paid people to video opposing teams’ signs — was obtained by gaining access to his computer illegally. Upon investigation, more sources indicated law enforcement has begun looking into the source of the information as a result.
Reports have indicated that a third party tipped the NCAA off to potential sign stealing by Michigan. If that third party turns out to be a pair of private investigators who have family ties to the head coach at Ohio State, that's certainly an interesting wrinkle, but does it mean anything?
Michigan is trying to drag Ohio State's Ryan Day into the mud with them
The only thing in this report of true interest is the idea that computer access was gained illegally. But even that isn't going to help Michigan beat the sign-stealing rap. It may just result in a private investigator from Manchester, New Hampshire getting in trouble with the police.
This feels like a giant straw man. It's not particularly relevant who tipped off the NCAA when a dozen Big Ten schools have checked their ticket records and surveillance video to find proof that a Michigan staffer purchased tickets to their games and then had people sitting in his seats and recording video of the sideline.
Michigan has tried to downplay the importance of the sign stealing and the culpability of anyone on their staff not named Stalions. Now it's throwing a Hail Mary to see if Day and Ohio State can get dragged down with them.
Unless there's proof that Day himself directed private investigators to hack Stalions' laptop, this is all just the equivalent of Michigan putting up a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm-Flailing Tube-Man in front of the Big House to distract from the sign stealing of it all.