It’s been an absolutely wild day in sign-gate, the sign-stealing scandal that has engulfed Michigan Wolverine football. Amid reports that a booster named “Uncle T” was the one funding disgraced staffer Connor Stalions’ sign-stealing scheme that has landed the program in hot water and resulted in a suspension of head coach Jim Harbaugh.
And, soon after the news broke about this “Uncle T” this afternoon, accompanied by news that the team had also fired linebackers coach Chris Partridge, people were trying to find out who “Uncle T” was.
Instantly, there was a “suspect”, so to speak. That would be Michigan booster Tim Smith, who allegedly posts on a Michigan message board as “totchman.”
But, Smith, who was also an important figure for a Michigan NIL collective is fighting back. He says he is not “Uncle T” and has only talked to Stalions a few times. Here’s The Athletic with more.
Reached by The Athletic, Smith said he received notice from his attorney and his daughter recently that his name was being linked to a mysterious donor identified as “Uncle T” who was involved in Michigan’s sign-stealing scandal, which former staffer Connor Stalions is accused of spearheading. But Smith said he has never had a financial transaction with Stalions and does not go by that moniker.
“‘I’ve never heard that term,” Smith said. “No one has called me that or referred to me as that.”
Smith said he received notice from Champions Circle that his membership has been recalled. He said the collective did not give him the courtesy of a phone call and that he feels like he’s being treated as “damaged goods.”
“I have no idea where this came from,” Smith said, noting that “all I’ve ever done is give to the school and give to the NIL.”
He said he feels like he’s being treated as a scapegoat.
Smith acknowledged that he has had contact with Stalions since the scandal broke. He said he reached out to see how Stalions was faring on a “human level” but reiterated that he was not involved in the scheme in any way.’”
Do we believe him? Well, if you dig into his posting history on The Fort message board, you can judge for yourself. But, this story certainly doesn’t appear to be getting any better for the Michigan Wolverines, that’s for sure.