An altercation broke out between players following the Michigan-Michigan State game on Saturday. A crowd of Michigan State Spartans appeared to be attacking Michigan players in the tunnel following the in-state rivalry game. Michigan AD Ward Manuel said Michigan’s postgame fight is being reviewed by law enforcement.
University of Michigan Police Assistant Chief Melissa Overton said the investigation is ongoing, working in conjunction with the Michigan State Police and Michigan’s athletics and football programs. Spartans head coach Mel Tucker said Michigan is working with law enforcement, the Michigan campus leadership, and the Big Ten Conference to assess what happened, including identifying additional players involved and contributing factors in the altercation. Tucker added that the suspensions will stay in place until the investigation, which includes law enforcement, Big Ten, and Michigan, is completed.
As a result, Mel Tucker suspended Four Michigan State players – Tank Brown, Khary Crump, Angelo Gore, and Zion Young, saying that decisions were made based on video evidence from the incident. Neither Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh nor Manuel would disclose on Saturday which Wolverines were involved in the altercation, although Harbaugh said two players were involved – one, he said, suffered a nasal injury.
“Two of our players were assaulted,” Harbaugh said. “I saw on the one video. 10 on one. It was pretty bad. It needs to be investigated,” Harbaugh stated.
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“On behalf of our university and athletics department, I have been in consistent contact with University of Michigan Athletics Director Warde Manuel and Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren in addition to members of our Spartan family to offer our apologies and to ensure our collaboration with law enforcement as they conduct investigations into this matter,” Tucker said.
MSU athletic director Alan Haller also issued a statement Sunday night condemning the players’ actions.
“Michigan State University, our athletics department and football program represent the highest ethical, academics and athletics standards,” said Haller. “Based on the alarming evidence that Coach Mel Tucker and I have been provided involving a small number of our football student-athletes and the University of Michigan student-athletes at Michigan Stadium, we are in alignment that it is necessary to take preliminary action and suspend four football student-athletes. The behavior we reviewed was both uncharacteristic of our football program and unacceptable.”
Michigan State players jump a Michigan player in the tunnel pic.twitter.com/C7hak4pEAQ
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) October 31, 2022
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In the immediate aftermath on Saturday evening, MSU coach Mel Tucker said at his postgame news conference that he was not aware of any altercations after the game between the Michigan players inside the Michigan Stadiums tunnel and that a fact-finding process was underway. The suspensions were ordered after school officials reviewed video of Saturday’s 29-7 loss to host team Michigan in Ann Arbor and discovered the four were part of a group of teammates surrounding a rival, Michigan coach Mel Tucker said in a statement.
The incident comes amidst a frustrating season for the Spartans. The 29-7 loss to Michigan puts Michigan State at 3-5 overall and 1-4 within their conference, last in the East division. With games looming against #14 Illinois and $16 Penn State, MSU is in real danger of not reaching bowl eligibility. A result that would add further embarrassment to a proud program.
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