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10 Lessons Learned from a College Football Signal Stealer: Key Observations and Tips to Avoid Being Caught

The video evidence of Michigan’s signal stealing efforts circulated widely on Tuesday, garnering over 17 million views in just 36 hours. The footage, initially shared by Ohio TV reporter Adam King, depicts Michigan analyst Connor Stalions standing next to defensive coordinator Jesse Minter before a play and observing Ohio State’s sideline to catch a signal. Once he spotted it, Stalions responded with his own signal to aid the Wolverines’ defense during last year’s game. The video from the OSU vs Michigan game from last year shows Connor Stalions, who is at the center of the alleged sign stealing operation, standing next to the UM defensive coordinator. You can view their interaction before the play here: . For a better quality video and more information, follow this link: [link to article]. The clip has led many to conclude that Michigan engaged in cheating during the game.

On Tuesday, a signal stealer from college football also watched the video. However, he didn’t understand why people were making a fuss about it. The ongoing Michigan scandal has captivated coaches and staff in the industry who have been stealing signals for years. While the practice is legal and well-documented, Stalions’ alleged violation of NCAA rules by purchasing tickets and sending people to film opponents has drawn significant attention. A coach from a Power 5 program, who does not have Michigan on their schedule this season, shared insights into the art of signal stealing, requesting anonymity to protect his strategies from opponents.

The coach has noticed widespread misconceptions about signal stealing and what is permissible. If the accusations against Stalions are true, his actions tarnish the reputation of all signal stealers and make their job more challenging. However, the coach is surprised that people have never noticed this practice before, as it is a common occurrence on Saturdays.

Here are ten lessons learned from an effective signal stealer:

1. Signal stealing is not illegal. The Ohio State video might look incriminating to the uninitiated, but Michigan’s coaches did not break any rules. The coach believes he knows what happened on the play based on the video.

2. Your favorite team is likely engaging in signal stealing as well. The lack of awareness about this practice surprises the coach, given the extreme reactions he has witnessed. He encourages fans to pay attention to their own teams, as signal stealing is a common occurrence.

3. Signal stealing only requires tape. The coach has worked for a head coach who suspected other schools of filming his team’s signals during open practices or spring games. While he doesn’t believe Michigan’s alleged scheme is widespread, he acknowledges that careful studying of opponents’ tapes can uncover patterns. Stalions’ ability to gather intelligence is the focus of the NCAA’s investigation.

4. Results are not guaranteed. Despite successfully decoding an opponent’s signals, it is possible for them to change their signals on game day, rendering the effort useless. This can be frustrating for experienced signal stealers.

5. Avoid getting caught. A blowout loss in a conference game taught the coach the importance of not getting caught in the act of signal stealing.


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