Michigan-Michigan State brawl under police investigation

Opinion

A police investigation is underway after a postgame scuffle in which Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh said two of his players were “assaulted” by Michigan State players in the tunnel after the Wolverines’ 29-7 victory Saturday at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

Video via The Detroit News showed Spartans players throwing punches and kicks behind defensive back Ja’Den McBurrows. Melissa Overton, Michigan police deputy chief, said (via the Free Press) that an investigation was underway in conjunction with Michigan State Police and the Michigan athletic department and football program.

“Just like anybody, you want to protect your players,” Harbaugh told reporters. “Ten on one, whatever it was, it was just bad. It needs to be investigated and brought to justice.” -closure. Our athletic director will make sure that happens.”

Although Harbaugh said “Two of our players were attacked,” only McBurrows was seen in some videos, although the Free Press noted that another video showed him going into the tunnel. showing Michigan cornerback Gemon Green also working his way through Spartans players. Harbaugh said one player appeared to have a nose injury but he did not identify it.

Harbaugh was joined by Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel dealing with the media and called the event “absolutely impossible. I have spoken to the [Big Ten Conference] commissioner – he looks into it. The police are also looking into it, as they have seen the video and are dealing with it. We’ll leave it in their hands, but this is not how we should interact after a game.

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“This is not the way another team should be able to grab a player and do what they did, it’s completely and utterly impossible. We’ll let the Big Ten and law enforcement handle it, but this is not what conflict should be about.”

The Michigan Daily highlighted some of the Spartans surrounding McBurrows as linebacker Itayvion Brown, defensive end Zion Young and safety Angelo Grose.

Michigan State Coach Mel Tucker told reporters after the game that he didn’t discuss the loss with his players in the locker room because “I don’t know what happened. … I know it was a heated game. Things got heated. We were trying to get our boys into the locker room. We need to find out what happened.”

Another video showed a fan leaning down from the stands and touching Tucker’s head as he entered the tunnel. Tucker slapped the man’s hand away in the short video.

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Conference commissioner Kevin Warren was at the game and the Big Ten was released later. report promising “appropriate action” after an investigation.

“The Big Ten Conference is aware of an incident tonight at Michigan Stadium between student-athletes from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan,” he said. “The conference is currently gathering information, will will thoroughly investigate the truth, and will take appropriate measures.”

Early Sunday morning, Michigan State Athletic Director Alan Haller said in a statement: “I have been in contact with Commissioner Warren. We will cooperate with the conference office and other efforts to gather more information.”

Tucker released a statement about the incident Sunday morning, fall into a thread, “As Spartans it is our program’s responsibility to maintain the highest level of sportsmanship. Although emotions were very high at the end of our rivalry game at Michigan Stadium, there is no excuse for behavior that puts our team or opponents at risk.” “In full cooperation with law enforcement, the Big Ten Conference and MSU and UM leadership, we will assess the events in Ann Arbor and take swift and appropriate action.”

This is the second incident that has occurred in the tunnel of Michigan Stadium, which opened in 1927, in as many games. Penn State and Michigan players got into a heated exchange as they entered the tunnel at halftime of the Wolverines’ 41-17 victory last weekend.

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“All you have to do is walk into their locker room,” Harbaugh told reporters Monday. “Like, you could see very clearly that they completely stopped. They weren’t letting us get up the tunnel. And it just seemed like a sophomoric ploy to keep us out of the locker rooms.”

There is only one entrance to the dressing rooms from the pitch at the Big House and the away team usually go in first. After the Penn State game, an unidentified Michigan player appeared to be in the tunnel while the team was still celebrating on the field.

“There should be a policy that the first team that goes in has a buffer,” Penn State Coach James Franklin said afterward. “If not, this team starts talking to the this team, they start hitting back and forth, and something bad is going to happen.



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