Michigan State suspended four players for their role in beating Michigan players in the stadium tunnel after losing the game.
Spartan coach Mel Tucker announced on Sunday night that linebacker Tank Brown, security Angelo Grose, defender Zion Young and defender Khara Crump were immediately suspended.
“Michigan State University’s core soccer values include honesty, discipline, selflessness, endurance and responsibility,” said Tucker, who made the decision after “reviewing disturbing electronic evidence.”
After fourth-placed Wolverines defeated Spartans 29-7 on Saturday night, fights broke out in the tunnel at Michigan Stadium. Social media posts showed Michigan players pushing, hitting and kicking Michigan’s Ja’Den McBurrows in and around a corridor that does not lead to any of the locker rooms. Brown, Grose and Young are seen in the video harassing McBurrows.
McBurrows and defensive defender Gemon Green went down the tunnel, walking alongside the Spartans, after the game while much of the Michigan squad was waving them off the field after beating rivals in the state for the first time in three years.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said Saturday night that one player he did not identify may have a broken nose. Social media post on Sunday he showed Wolverine appearing green, battered by the Spartans.
green, in another posthe’s surrounded by police and shouts through the tunnel at players from Michigan.
“Two of our players were attacked,” said Harbaugh. “I saw in one movie. Ten against one. It was very bad. This has to be investigated.
The University of Michigan’s deputy police chief Melissa Overton said an investigation is under way in collaboration with the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Athletics and Football Program Division.
“The investigation takes some time,” Overton said on Sunday.
Tucker said the school is working with law enforcement, Michigan and Michigan campus executives, and the Big Ten Conference to assess what happened, including identifying other players who were involved in the arguments and contributing factors.
“Initial suspensions for student athletes will continue until the investigation is complete,” said Tucker. “The health and safety of our student athletes, coaches, staff and the Spartan community remain our top priority. we are committed to honesty, transparency and accountability and that we will continue to take appropriate action on this matter. “
Earlier that day, Michigan President Samuel Stanley publicly apologized for the “violent” skirmish.
“I am very saddened by this incident and by the unacceptable behavior portrayed by members of our football program,” Stanley said in a statement. On behalf of Michigan State University, my sincere apologies to the University of Michigan and the injured student athletes.
“There is no provocation that can justify the behavior we see in the movies. The competition can be fierce, but it should never be fierce. “
The Big Ten said in a statement: “The conference is currently gathering information, carefully examining the facts and taking appropriate action.”
As Tucker left the field and entered the tunnel at one point on Saturday night, a supporter appeared and touched his head and coach he replied, pushing the fan away from his hand.
It was the second game in a row in Michigan that involved an argument in a long, narrow tunnel that runs from the locker room to the field.
Earlier this month, Penn State coach James Franklin said a policy change was needed to ensure a more structured use of the tunnel.
A few warm words were exchanged and Michigan players said Penn State players were throwing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at them as the teams headed to the dressing room halfway through a tied game that Wolverines ultimately won in their 41-17 win on October 15.
Harbaugh said Franklin acted as a “ringleader” and claimed that the Nittany Lions stopped in the tunnel to prevent his team from accessing the locker room.