Late Tuesday night, the news was leaked that Michigan Wolverines quarterback coach and co-offensive coordinator Matt Weiss has been placed on leave while the university police department conducts an investigation into alleged computer access crimes.
Here is all we know so far.
This took place between Dec. 21-23 inside Schembechler Hall — leading up to the College Football Playoff semifinal against TCU — according to a statement from U-M police chief Crystal James obtained by ESPN.
According to the University of Michigan police filing, “An employee reported fraudulent activity involving someone accessing university emails accounts without authorization. Upon further investigation, it was found that a crime may have been committed.”
Meaning: Somebody inside Schembechler Hall who works with Weiss found out what had been happening and reported it to the police (or perhaps to their boss first, and then later on to the police).
“I am aware of the ongoing investigation by the University of Michigan Police Department and fully cooperating with investigators,”: Weiss said in a statement to ESPN. “I look forward to the matter being resolved. Out of respect for the integrity of the investigation, I will not have any further comment.”
This incident was officially filed as a U-M police matter on Jan. 5 at 12:44 p.m.
What the crime means
As first pointed out by my dear friend and On3 reporter Anthony Broome, here is what the Michigan legislature constitutes as “fraudulent access to computers, computer systems, and computer networks”:
Here's what Michigan legislature says about "FRAUDULENT ACCESS TO COMPUTERS, COMPUTER SYSTEMS, AND COMPUTER NETWORKS" pic.twitter.com/qys1MV8cgn— Anthony Broome (@anthonytbroome) January 18, 2023
A person shall not intentionally and without authorization or by exceeding valid authorization do any of the following:
(a) Access or cause access to be made to a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network to acquire, alter, damage, delete, or destroy property or otherwise use the service of a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network.
b) Insert or attach or knowingly create the opportunity for an unknowing and unwanted insertion or attachment of a set of instructions or a computer program into a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network, that is intended to acquire, alter, damage, delete, disrupt, or destroy property or otherwise use the services of a computer program, computer, computer system, or computer network. This subdivision does not prohibit conduct protected under section 5 of article I of the state constitution of 1963 or under the first amendment of the constitution of the United States.
This is pretty broad, so what Weiss did could have been a number of things. We won’t speculate anything he may have done, but hopefully this is resolved soon and we can quickly move through another dreadful offseason of Michigan football.
What this could mean for Weiss’ future in Ann Arbor
Weiss was given a two-year contract when he was hired back in March 2021, so he is due for a new one if he is to stay in Ann Arbor. He has done a good job with the quarterbacks since his arrival, so it’s probably fair to say Jim Harbaugh would probably want him back...
...But this incident may be serious enough for the Wolverines to move on and look for someone else to coach the quarterbacks. Whether that be Kirk Campbell, who has been an analyst at Michigan for the past year and has offensive coordinator experience at Old Dominion, or perhaps David Shaw, who recently stepped down as Stanford’s head coach and has history with Harbaugh, or someone completely different.
Either way, regardless of what happens next, this is a messy situation that hopefully is resolved sooner than later.