Alabama players say they are ‘not allowed’ to watch film on their own because of ‘what Michigan is known for’

The Alabama Crimson Tide are looking for a competitive edge against Michigan.

The two legendary football programs will meet in the Rose Bowl New Year’s Day for a trip to the national championship. The 13-0 Wolverines are the No. 1 seed, while Bama is No. 4 after winning the SEC.

Michigan has been wrapped up in a sign-stealing scandal that promopted a three-game suspension for coach Jim Harbaugh.

Connor Stalions, the accused ringleader of the alleged scheme, left the program after reports said he was fired.


An aerial view of preparations for the Rose Bowl Dec. 28, 2023 in Pasadena, Calif. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Because of all of that, Alabama wide receiver Isaiah Bond said Crimson Tide players are “not allowed” to watch film on their own.

Running back Jase McClellan explained why. 

“You know, what Michigan is known for,” he said. “What they have out there. Just the play call stealing.”

“And they were like, I guess, like looking at other people’s play calls like their hands signals,” Bond said, via “It was like the first eight games or something like that. We was able to watch film with the team, but, personally, we can’t watch film because, like, I don’t know, for some reason with Michigan stealing signs. But I’m not really too keen on all that.”

Connor Stalions on sideline

Connor Stalions on the sideline during a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. (USA Today Sports)

“We just didn’t want to take no chances,” offensive lineman JC Latham added. “It’s a really big game. I think we have a really great film staff and guys who make sure our film is pretty secure, but we’re just taking another precaution to make sure we’re all good.”

Bond said coaches told him Thursday Michigan was apparently trying to get into a team’s performance database. Yahoo Sports reported Friday that the NCAA and authorities are investigating “unauthorized access” of footage, but Catapult, the database used, did not find “any security breach in our systems.”

Jim Harbaugh looks on

Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines after the Big Ten championship against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium Dec. 2, 2023, in Indianapolis.  (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)


Despite what Michigan might be doing, Bond has no worries.

“I mean, when we get on the field, they’re going to have to play us anyways, so all that sign stealing won’t help.”

The Rose Bowl kicks off at 5 p.m. ET Monday.

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