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Did Notre Dame steal Michigan State’s signals last season?

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly chats with Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio before last season's game. The Spartans have accused

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly chats with Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio before last season's game. The Spartans have accused the Irish of stealing defensive signals in that game. | AP

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Updated: September 16, 2011 12:48PM



Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi suggested that Notre Dame may have stolen defensive signals when the teams played last year.

“They don’t look to the sidelines as much (normally), but against us they did for some reason,” Narduzzi told reporters. “Whether they’re stealing our signals, I don’t know. But we’ve got something [changed this year] on the signals too. You never know. Guys are thieves, you know.”

Kelly was asked about the ethics of sign stealing Thursday night.

“We’re not looking to steal anybody’s signals,” Kelly said. “We’ve got enough problems with our own stuff.”

Kelly said it’s not appropriate to steal signals using videotape, as New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was accused of doing in 2007, but if opposing coaches pick up something when signals being relayed into quarterback Tommy Rees, for example, it’s fair game.

“We have to change our signals each and every week,” Kelly said. “If Tommy Rees is out there doing this [gesticulating] and they pick that up that’s on us. If everybody else can see it, if it’s just in the basic flow of the game and you know what it is, the team has to make sure they’re not breached at that point. But I don’t think you should be doing undercover work to steal signals.”

Narduzzi said MSU will have three people giving fake defensive signals while another person does it for real just to be safe.

If Notre Dame was stealing Michigan State’s signals they weren’t doing a very good job. The game was tied 7-7 at halftime before both offenses scored two touchdowns in the third quarter.

The Fighting Irish led 31-28 in overtime when Aaron Bates threw a 29-yard, game-winning touchdown to Charlie Gantt on a fake field goal to give the Spartans a 34-31 victory.



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