Jim Harbaugh, the current head football coach of the Michigan Wolverines said he expects the four Michigan State players to be suspended for their involvement in beating up two Michigan players as well as criminal charges to be filed.
A fight broke out in the Michigan Stadium tunnel after the Wolverines beat the Spartans 29-7 Saturday night. Social media posts immediately following the scuffle showed Michigan State players pushing, punching, and kicking Michigan’s Ja’Den McBurrows in a hallway.
Spartans coach Mel Tucker made an announcement that linebacker Tank Brown, safety Angelo Grose, defensive end Zion Young and cornerback Khary Crump were suspended immediately for their involvement in the tunnel altercation.
Tucker went on to say, “Michigan State University football core values include integrity, discipline, unselfishness, toughness, and accountability.” Tucker made the decision after ‘reviewing the disturbing electronic evidence.’
Michigan coach Harbaugh was not happy at just the suspension stating he believes the four should be punished further, saying he “can’t imagine that this will not result in criminal charges.”
“Right now we have an ongoing police investigation,” Harbaugh said. “What happened in the tunnel was egregious. Sickening to watch the videos, the ones that are on social media right now.”
2:13 video of Michigan State assaulting a second Michigan player and the aftermath. Absolutely criminal. The mother of a recruit took this video. pic.twitter.com/9ytoRioTUV
— Trevor Woods (@WoodsFootball) October 30, 2022
“There needs to be accountability,” Harbaugh said. “There needs to be a full, thorough, timely investigation. I can’t imagine this will not result in criminal charges. The videos are bad. It’s clear what transpired. This is very open and shut. As they say, watch the tape.”
Harbaugh continued, “I’m coming from this from a perspective of being a parent. These young men are entrusted to me by their families and to our program, and we have the responsibility to each player to treat them like our own, and I take that responsibility very seriously. An apology will not get the job done in this instance. There should be serious consequences for the many individuals that are culpable.”
Harbaugh explained the situation briefly saying that Green was punched by a Spartan player in the tunnel, and McBurrows was attacked when he stepped in to try and help.
Attorney Tom Mars who has been hired by Green said, “When college football players brutally attack a member of the opposing team with their helmets, resulting in the player suffering a concussion and other injuries, an apology won’t suffice.”
“There has to be severe consequences for this kind of misconduct. Not only does Gemon Green deserve to be compensated for his injuries, severe consequences in this case will deter others who might think they can get away with brutally beating an opposing player and only get a slap on the wrist. I’ve got news for the MSU players who did this to Gemon. They are going to feel the full wrath of the law,” Mars continued.
University of Michigan Deputy Police Chief Melissa Overton said an investigation is underway as they are working with Michigan State Police, and Michigan’s athletic department and football program.
“The investigation takes some time,” Overton said Sunday.
“The initial student-athlete suspensions will remain in place until the investigations are completed,” Tucker said. “The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, personnel and the Spartan community remain our priority. You have my promise that we are committed to fairness, transparency, and accountability, and that we will continue to take appropriate action in this matter.”
Michigan State President Samuel Stanley publicly apologized saying, “I’m extremely saddened by this incident and the unacceptable behavior depicted by members of our football program.”
He continued saying, “On behalf of Michigan State University, my heartfelt apology to the University of Michigan and the student-athletes who were injured. There is no provocation that could justify the behavior we are seeing on the videos. Rivalries can be intense but should never be violent.”