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Alabama coaches don’t want players watching film on tablets out of fear of sign stealing

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Alabama is covering every angle when it comes to preparing for Monday’s College Football Playoff semifinal game against Michigan at the Rose Bowl.

That includes making sure their equipment and films do not get hacked in the wake of the Wolverines’ sign-stealing allegations from earlier this season.

Wide receiver Isaiah Bond and running back Jase McClellan said Thursday that watching film has been restricted to only as a group and with coaches at team facilities.

McLellan also said that players are not receiving practice film directly on their iPads, and that only coaches are receiving it.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was suspended for the final three regular-season games by the Big Ten Conference due to a sign-stealing scheme.

Harbaugh denied any role or knowledge in the scheme. Connor Stallions, a former Michigan staff member, was considered one of the leaders of the operation and resigned.

The NCAA does not prohibit sign stealing. However, it does not allow in-person scouting or the use of electronic equipment to steal signs.

“The app where we record film off of practice and stuff like that, and they were I guess like looking at other people’s play calls, their hand signals the first eight games or something like that,” Bond said.

Quarterback Jalen Milroe said he was still watching film on his iPad despite the warnings.

“I watch tape all over the building. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m going to be prepared for the game,” he said.

Offensive coordinator Tommy Rees didn’t want to discuss Michigan’s controversies and noted the focus was more on the Crimson Tide’s preparations and less on the Wolverines.

“I don’t think we’ve put any harm to what our preparation can look like with any of the things we’ve done. Again, we’re focused on us. Less about that stuff and more on what we can do to play well,” Rees said.

Alabama and Michigan use the same company software for their film viewing and data analysis.

Bond added that the Crimson Tide change signals almost every game, and that any concerns about sign stealing might be a little overblown.

“It’s us going out there. They’ll have to play us on the field,” he said. “We’ll see what happens when you’re on the field.”

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