This weekend's rivalry showdown between Michigan State and undefeated No. 2 Michigan was nearly scrapped.

Once MSU learned that the NCAA was investigating U-M over multiple allegations of illegal scouting and sign stealing, officials in East Lansing informed the Big Ten they were considering canceling Saturday's game, according to The Athletic.

The Big Ten Conference approached Michigan State University on Wednesday with what it described as “credible evidence” that the University of Michigan football program has successfully stolen signs called by opposing teams’ coaches this season, according to multiple sources briefed on the league’s communications.
Michigan State was approached by the league as a forewarning ahead of this weekend’s matchup between the rivals in East Lansing. According to a source briefed on those conversations, upon learning of the pending investigation, Michigan State initially warned the Big Ten it might consider not playing Saturday’s game out of concern for health and safety for its players. On Thursday morning, MSU confirmed it will indeed play the game.
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Multiple U-M opponents from earlier this season have reportedly accused the Wolverines of knowing their play calls, and raised those allegations with the NCAA, triggering the investigation. In-person scouting of opponents in season is against NCAA regulations.

The Big Ten announced the allegations early Thursday afternoon.

"Late Wednesday afternoon, the Big Ten Conference and University of Michigan were notified by the NCAA that the NCAA was investigating allegations of sign stealing by the University of Michigan football program. The Big Ten Conference has notified Michigan State University and future opponents. The Big Ten Conference considers the integrity of competition to be of utmost importance and will continue to monitor the investigation. The Conference will have no further comment at this time."

Michigan State interim president Teresa Woodruff released a statement on the matter.

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh released a statement, too.

My take? This is just the latest evidence that Harbaugh won't be at Michigan after this season. The dude's NCAA issues are only mounting, and he doesn't exactly like answering to anyone or having to deal with any oversight whatsoever. Plus, he's clearly at odds with Warde Manuel and others at Michigan for not rewarding him for his excellent past two-and-a-half seasons with a new contract that'll pay him better than fourth-best in the Big Ten.

Also, what the hell is Michigan State doing? They had an opportunity to avoid a nationally televised ass-showing handed to them on a silver platter — and they turned it down?!! This was MSU's chance to do what Harbaugh and Michigan did at the end of the 2020 season when they faked a COVID 19 outbreak to get out of Ryan Day and Ohio State hanging 100 points on them in Columbus. But unlike U-M, whose courage of their convictions is only outshone by their shamelessness, Michigan State actually cares what others think, for some reason. The people in charge in East Lansing are under the impression that they play nice they'll get favorable media attention.

Anyway, I guess we'll just sit through Saturday night now. Thanks for nothing, State.

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