CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Johnny Newton will have to sit out the first half at Minnesota next Saturday after Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said Wednesday his appeal to the NCAA was denied. Newton was ejected for targeting in the second half of last Saturday’s loss against Wisconsin in a game the Badgers outscored the Illini 18-0 in the fourth quarter.
On a positive note for the Illini (3-5, 1-4 B1G), Bielema added Keith Randolph Jr. and Reggie Love III are both trending in a positive direction to be able to suit up against the Gophers after both missed last week’s game with injuries.
The talk across college football continues to be the sign-stealing accusations against Michigan. Wolverines recruiting staffer Connor Stalions remains suspended with pay by the school, accused of violating NCAA rules that prohibit off-campus, in-person scouting of future opponents.
Stealing signs on game day is part of the game and widely accepted as simply trying to gain an advantage over opponents but when it crosses the line of using technology to film opposing sidelines, it becomes a bigger issue with integrity. That’s the concern Bielema brought to light on Wednesday when asked about the topic.
“I steal signals on game day, like that’s part of it,” Bielema said. “On game day, you watch, I watch defense. Usually, when we’re on offense, I watch the defense signal caller and I’ll try to get a cue on that and then when we’re on defense, I’ll watch an offense and sometimes you can tell when they’re going to go fast or when they give you a certain look that you’re going to get again. You have to have a reputation and feeling within in our league that everybody is going to abide by the rules. I get where it’s at. I’ll tell ya as a head coach, I’ve picked up and called another head coach when I feel something has been wrong. If not, I report it to the Big Ten officials and let them handle it because we all have to assume that it’s happening.”
Illinois is currently on a bye week, set to return to action Nov. 4 at Minnesota for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on Big Ten Network.