There seems to be an unwritten rule in sports that suggests stealing signs is a no-no. Generally, this topic is tends to be more common in the world of baseball but it has started to become a bit more of an issue in college football in recent years. Arizona State has become a target of accusations of sign-stealing and Washington State head coach Mike Leach thinks the Pac-12 should step in and investigate the situation.
“They probably ought to do an investigation on them,” Leach said this week. Washington State hosts Arizona State on Saturday. “You’ve got two-straight schools with a concern for it back-to-back. The conference probably ought to investigate it.”
Leach was referring to Arizona State’s two most recent opponents, Utah and Oregon. Utah center Siaosi Aiono said Arizona State had figured out Utah’s play signals the previous season, which led the Utes to working more out of the huddle in practices leading up to this season’s game, which Utah won at home. Utah went to the huddle for the majority of the fourth quarter in the win, which just so happens to be when Arizona State stopped being able to slow down the Utes. Last week, Oregon brought large sheets to help shield their calls from the sideline from wandering eyes of Arizona State. Ducks offensive coordinator Scott Frost said he had never come across a team as diligent in trying to steal signs as Arizona State was.
Here’s the thing. A coaching staff and players are entitled to do anything and everything they can within the rules to gain an edge in a game. There are no rules against stealing signs. If a team just so happens to be able to crack your codes, then that is on you to go to Plan B. If you don’t have a Plan B or Plan C lined up, that’s also on you.