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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - OCTOBER 07: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines looks on after the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Huntington Bank Stadium on October 07, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Wolverines defeated the Golden Gophers 52-10. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

There have been recent developments involving the University of Michigan and stealing opposing teams’ signs. One of the biggest sports scandals in years, the NCAA has officially launched a full investigation into the University of Michigan’s Football program. The school is being accused of running a coordinated operation, sending staffers and people affiliated with the school to other teams’ games. While at these games these people allegedly took video of the teams play calling and signs that would signify which play would be ran at any given time. Somehow the allegations get worse. It seems that the videos of the signs were then allegedly uploaded to a shared folder that Michigan coaches supposedly had access to. While this investigation is not complete, and all the facts are fuzzy. The allegations feel egregious. Hopefully when it’s all said and done the NCAA finds information that disputes these claims.

In the meantime, we have to go off what we have. As a lifelong Michigan fan this scandal worries me and brings me uneasy feelings. While many try to deny everything until proven wrong. I am a firm believer that, if something is getting this much attention there has to be some truth to it. What most Michigan fans want is a chance to play for the National Championship. Some fans are willing to sacrifice anything to get that title.

The Worst Scandal Ever?

While Michigan’s ongoing scandal looks really bad, how does it stack up against other controversies? The Black Sox scandal? Or the Steroid era which brought the MLB back to relevancy? The reason people get so upset at their favorite sports team is because at its core it’s a game. Therefore, the rules must be followed and if they ever appear to be broken, a primal rage ensues. This is why cheating scandals and other black marks on sports are so memorable. Let’s countdown the biggest scandals in sports history!

  • Deflate Gate

    NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 31: Quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots leaves federal court after contesting his four game suspension with the NFL on August 31, 2015 in New York City. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman had required NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Brady to be present in court when the NFL and NFL Players Association reconvened their dispute over Brady's four-game Deflategate suspension. The two sides failed to reach an agreement to their seven-month standoff. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

    NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 31: Quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots leaves federal court after contesting his four game suspension with the NFL on August 31, 2015 in New York City.

     

    Deflate gate was a scandal that seemed like no other. The controversy involved then New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and allegations that he ordered the deflation of footballs that were used in a playoff victory against the Indianapolis Colts in the 2014 playoffs. The end result was Tom being suspended by the NFL for 4 games to start the regular season. On top of that the team had to give up 2 draft picks in the 2016 draft and pay 1 million dollars in fines.

     

  • Spygate

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 22: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots reacts after a play in the second half of the game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on October 22, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 22: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots reacts after a play in the second half of the game against the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on October 22, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    Back in 2007, the New England Patriots were caught illegally videotaping the New York Jets during the first game of the season. Similar to the ongoing investigation with the University of Michigan. The Pats main rule violation deals with the organized videorecording of the Jets coaching signals as they were being communicated to their players in real time. To avoid any further investigation or penalties, the Pats admitted to the violation soon after getting caught.

    The NFL did their own investigation and ultimately slapped the organization with a 250 thousand dollar fine and Bill Belichick personally received a half a million dollar fine. NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell deemed this not enough, and also forced New England to surrender their 2008 first round draft pick.

  • Tiger Woods

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Tiger Woods makes a statement from the Sunset Room on the second floor of the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour on February 19, 2010 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Woods publicly admitted to cheating on his wife Elin Nordegren but maintained that the issues remain "a matter between a husband and a wife." (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 19: Tiger Woods makes a statement from the Sunset Room on the second floor of the TPC Sawgrass, home of the PGA Tour on February 19, 2010 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Woods publicly admitted to cheating on his wife Elin Nordegren.

    While the Tiger Woods cheating scandal may not have directly involved the sports world, its impact was substantial. Back in 2010, it was revealed that Woods allegedly was caught cheating on his then wife, Elin Nordegren. Not long after the news broke, Tiger did make a formal announcement to the public that the rumors were true. Again, the cheating isn’t even the biggest part, it was the aftermath on Tiger Woods’ career.

    Tiger went through a period of almost 8 years where he fell off the #1 golfer spot and sunk into unfamiliar territory in his professional career. Sponsors didn’t want to represent a man who was dealing with such issues in his personal life. This didn’t last forever, and Tiger was dedicated to get back to his former self.  Of course, he did make an incredible comeback and in 2019 ended up winning his 5th Master’s tournament.

  • “Shoeless” Joe Jackson & The Chicago White Sox

    Frontpage headline of the New York Times newspaper describing the so-called 'Black Sox' scandal in which players of the American League's Chicago White Sox threw the World Series reads 'Eight White Sox players are indicted on charge of fixing 1919 World Series; Cicotte got $10,000 and Jackson $5,000. Comiskey suspends them; Promises to run them out of baseball if found guilty,' September 29, 1920. Inset headline reads 'Yankee owners give praise to Comiskey and offer him use of their whole team.' Charles A. Comiskey was the owner of the White Sox. Pitcher Eddie Cicotte and left fielder 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson were popular and successful players involved in the scandal. (Photo by New York Times Co./Getty Images)

    Frontpage headline of the New York Times newspaper describing the so-called ‘Black Sox’ scandal in which players of the American League’s Chicago White Sox threw the World Series reads ‘Eight White Sox players are indicted on charge of fixing 1919 World Series; Cicotte got $10,000 and Jackson $5,000. Comiskey suspends them; Promises to run them out of baseball if found guilty,’

    With the 3rd highest career batting average in MLB history at .356 Joseph Jackson or better known as “Shoeless Joe” would surely be in the hall of fame, right? Well perhaps if it wasn’t for the Black Sox Scandal of 1919 he would be. Jackson and 7 of his White Sox teammates allegedly were involved with gamblers who orchestrated an attempt to intentionally throw the World Series that year. Ultimately letting the Cincinatti Reds win, in return for a cut of the betting money. Although the players were acquitted during a trial back in 1921, the judge opted to ban the 8 teammates for life. With the lifetime ban in place, this guaranteed that Shoeless Joe Jackson would never make it to Cooperstown.

    While the sports world considers a crime like this to be one of the worst, this case has some debate to it. There seems to be a lack of evidence that proves Jackson was involved in the gambling scheme. On top of the lack of evidence, Shoeless Joe actually played phenomenally during the World Series! Joe didn’t commit a single error and got 12 hits during the series hitting .375. All of this points to Joe not being as guilty as the rest. If he was trying to throw the games, he didn’t do a very good job of it, which suggests he wasn’t involved! Unfortunately, all attempts to overturn the ban for Shoeless Joe were denied over the years.

  • Pete Rose and Gambling

    Gambling on a sport you play or coach in today is considered unacceptable at all sports levels. Interestingly enough this was common in the baseball world in the 20th century. It was no secret in the 1970’s that baseball legend Pete Rose had a problem with gambling. Rose was arguably the most prolific hitter ever. Racking up the all-time MLB record of 4256 hits during his career while also hitting for an average of .303. The only thing that got in his way, was the gambling. He was known to bet on football games and even horse races, then in 1989 reports came out that Pete Rose was gambling on baseball games. If that wasn’t bad enough, it was his own team he bet on!

     

    While illegal if he was a player, Rose intensified his wrongdoing by not only being a Reds player, but by also being the Manager of the team! The idea that Rose set the lineups for the team each and every game, while betting on the outcome of those games is shady and egregious. Pete Rose received a lifetime ban from the sports as a result of his betting and will never make the MLB hall of fame. Truly one of the biggest sports scandals that ever took place.

     

     

     

    (Original Caption) 3/26/1989-Clearwater, FL- Reds' manager Pete Rose blows a less than major league bubble as he looks out of the dugout prior to the Reds game against the Phillies. Rose is under investigation by the baseball commissioners office for alleged gambling.

    (Original Caption) 3/26/1989-Clearwater, FL- Reds’ manager Pete Rose blows a less than major league bubble as he looks out of the dugout prior to the Reds game against the Phillies. Rose is under investigation by the baseball commissioner’s office for alleged gambling.

  • Michael Vick

    CHARLOTTE, MC - OCTOBER 02: Michael Vick #7 of the Atlanta Falcons looks on during an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers on October 2, 2004 at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

    CHARLOTTE, MC – OCTOBER 02: Michael Vick #7 of the Atlanta Falcons looks on during an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers on October 2, 2004 at Ericsson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

     

    Superstar Quarterback Michael Vick, like Tiger Woods derailed his own career because of his personal life choices. In 2007, Vick pled guilty to a felony charge of running an illegal dogfighting ring. Mike went from being the highest paid player in the National Football League, to being in federal prison for nearly 2 years. While it took several years for Vick to show any remorse or take accountability for his actions, he did apologize. Nothing will excuse his actions for being involved with such cruel and violent activities. While he may have had a good career, many wonder what could have been if he wasn’t such a horrible person.

     

    Inside the Michigan Ohio State Rivalry

    For an inside look at the history of Michigan Vs Ohio State rivalry, checkout this story!

     

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