Jim McElwain‘s time as the leader of Florida football was a largely forgettable reign that most Gator fans have tried to forget. He did win the SEC East in back-to-back seasons but did so against a downtrodden division and was invited to leave in 2017 after a 42–7 defeat to Georgia.
McElwain eventually found his way to Central Michigan and has been the head coach of the Chippewas since the 2019 season. A recent viral photo from the sidelines of a Central Michigan game has brought McElwain and his Chippewas into the Michigan sign-stealing scandal.
Florida Football: Sign stealing guy
By now, the name Connor Stallions has turned into an outright meme. The University of Michigan has been accused of running an elaborate scheme where Stalions, an assistant on Michigan’s staff, has gone to the games of upcoming opponents on Michigan’s schedule to scout their sidelines and figure out their signs.
In the opening game of this season, Central Michigan played Michigan State, the latter of which also played Michigan this season.
Keeping in mind this game kicked off at 7 PM, and there was no need for sunglasses, people have picked up on the fact there was a guy on CMU’s sidelines who matched the exact profile of one Mr. Stallions.
McElwain was asked about the photos floating around and had the following to say:
"“We’re obviously aware of a picture floating around with the sign-stealer guy. Our people are doing everything they can to get to the bottom of it. We were totally unaware of it, we certainly don’t condone it in any way, shape or form. I do know that his name was on none of the passes that were let out. Now we just keep tracing it back and tracing it back and try to figure it out. But it’s in good hands with our people. There’s no place in football for that.”"
So, at no point did anyone on CMU’s coaching staff look over at this random guy cheering on the sidelines and ask themselves, “Hey, who is that guy, and why is he here?”
It’s not like Stallions was hiding off to the side, and no one would have noticed. He was smack dab in the middle of their sideline. And when one factors in that McElwain crossed paths with Jim Harbaugh in 2018 when McElwain was Michigan’s wide receiver’s coach, anything is possible given how this story has unfolded.