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Big Ten coach gives honest take on Michigan football sign-stealing

This opposing Big Ten coach gives his honest take on Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan football sign-stealing scandal.



Michigan football sign-stealing, Jim Harbaugh, Nebraska, Matt Rhule,
Sep 30, 2023; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh and Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule before the game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

In a world of anonymous sources and censored reports, few of the people who are truly “outraged” by the Michigan football sign-stealing scandal, at least among the Big Ten coaches, have made their feelings public. That is to say that, despite constant reports of coaches and players being upset at Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines, few have put their name behind anything publicly. Today, Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule changed that, giving an honest take on where things stand and more.

Nebraska Cornhuskers coach Matt Rhule gives honest take on Michigan football sign-stealing

Now, to preface this, Matt Rhule made it clear that he cannot fully comment on the Michigan football sign-stealing case because he is not entirely in the know and is not aware of the specifics. That said, he gave an honest take on the situation with Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines amid the scandal leading into Week 10.

“I think you sit there and just feel really bad for the players on both sides, because this is really our last chance to teach young people how to go out there and compete and overcome adversity and go through ups and downs and highs and lows,” first-year Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule told On3’s Andy Staples. “And you just hope when you do this that no side ever has an advantage over the other, that’s not gained and earned appropriately.”

More from Rhule on the scandal news

Matt Rhule didn’t stop there — while he didn’t comment on Michigan football or Jim Harbaugh directly, he was clearly passionate about his players and feelings toward the allegations.

“As we tell parents, ‘We’re going to teach them how to be young men.’ I think the first thing we teach them is integrity and honesty,” Rhule added. “But if I ever feel like my guys have been shorted, obviously, I’m here to fight for them. That would certainly be heartbreaking and disappointing to me as someone who loves college football. It’s one thing when it’s recruiting, but when we mess with the 60 minutes of the game, that’s really, really, really impacted.”

“I’ll tell you this — players go out there, and they get hurt, and if I ever knew what plays you were running and my guys were running to the ball before the snap, I don’t know that that’s fair to the health and safety of our players or anything. So I certainly hope it’s not what everyone says it is. But I don’t know, so I can’t comment on that specifically.”

Jim Harbaugh and Michigan football set to return to action this weekend amid the sign-stealing scandal

Earlier this fall, Michigan football downed the Nebraska Cornhuskers 45-7 on the road in Lincoln, NE. It was Jim Harbaugh’s second win in Lincoln and Michigan’s fourth-straight win over the Cornhuskers (2018, 2021, 2022, 2023). This weekend, the Maize and Blue return to action following the bye weekend, hosting the Purdue Boilermakers on Saturday evening at the Big House.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball as a member of the credentialed media at both schools. Right now, CJ writes for Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. He also does some credentialed basketball coverage. Previously, CJ has made stops with sites like GBMWolverine, Saturday Blitz, Steeler Nation, and more.