We're a little more than a month into Michigan's sign-stealing and illegal-scouting scandal, and the hits just keep coming.

This football season has been the weirdest one I've ever covered. Between Michigan State coach Mel Tucker self-destructing in the most spectacularly awful way, Hitler on the Spartan Stadium scoreboard, and a new damning development in the U-M controversy emerging seemingly every day — sometimes more than every day — this fall has been less about what happens on the field and much, much more about the myriad controversies unfolding off of it.

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Most recently, Michigan fired linebackers coach Chris Partridge for allegedly attempting to destroy evidence related to the sign-stealing scandal. Not long after that, stories surfaced reporting a U-M booster officially identified only as "Uncle T" had helped finance the scheme, which, as we all now know, was spearheaded by Connor Stalions, the lifelong Michigan fanboy-turned-recruiting-analyst who illegally surveilled more than a dozen opponents at three dozen-plus games over two-plus seasons.

Even the most devoted of Michigan cultists struggle to explain what a mere recruiting analyst is doing spending entire games on the sidelines next to and in direct communication with both coordinators and the head coach. To the rest of us, it's obvious what was going on — Stalions was using his illicitly acquired intel to predict opponents' plays pre-snap, then relaying that information to Michigan's coordinators and head coach in real time, giving the Wolverines an undeniable-to-everyone-capable-of-thinking-critically-about-anything-Maize-and-Blue advantage.

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Here's an excellent and telling demonstration of Stalions' in-game antics, courtesy of one Twitter user. The specific instance referenced here is from Michigan's game against Michigan State in 2022.

Did Michigan really need inside information to dispose of MSU in 2022? Not at all. That's just one part of what's so fascinating about the improprieties U-M committed here. The Wolverines have had excellent teams over the last three seasons. They've doubtlessly benefited from the competitive advantage Stalions and this scheme afforded, but it's clear that Michigan has been dominant over that span regardless. Like many cheating scandals, it's confounding. When you're so good why even begin to risk anything by crossing the lines? The same could be asked of those vintage New England Patriots teams.

Here's another example of Stalions working his illegitimate magic, this time at Ohio State in 2022.

Even if you're in a cult, at some point you have to call a spade a spade. And, according to the not-hard-to-hear rumblings out there, more spades are coming.

Michigan Scandals, Controversies, and Embarassments During Warde Manuel's Tenure as Athletic Director

Michigan athletics has been engulfed by multiple scandals, controversies, and embarassments over the last two years, all occurring on athletic director Warde Manuel's watch.

As the issues continue to mount, and Manuel continues to be practically invisible to the media and public, it's a wonder Manuel hasn't been fired already.

Gallery Credit: Getty Images

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