Monday, December 5, 2022

Tucker, Stanley provide statements following violence after Saturday's game

October 30, 2022
<p>Head Coach Mel Tucker encourages the team during warm-ups. The Spartans lost 29-7 to the Wolverines on Oct. 29, 2022.</p>

Head Coach Mel Tucker encourages the team during warm-ups. The Spartans lost 29-7 to the Wolverines on Oct. 29, 2022.

Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

Michigan and Michigan State players appeared to get in a physical altercation in the tunnel of Michigan Stadium after Saturday's rivalry matchup. Tensions were running high after the Wolverines defeated the Spartans 29-7.

Sunday morning, MSU Head Coach Mel Tucker and university president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. released statements condemning the incident.

"I'm extremely sadden by this incident and the unacceptable behavior depicted by members of our football program," Stanley said. "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. Coach Tucker will be holding the players involved responsible, and our football team and university will be cooperating with all related investigations by law enforcement and the Big Ten Conference."

During post-game interviews, Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh revealed the incident is under investigation by local authorities as well as the Big Ten.

“Two of our players were assaulted,” Harbaugh said. “We saw the video, 10-on-1. Pretty bad. I’m gonna let our athletic director Warde Manuel address it with the authorities. One of our players has a nasal injury, could be a broken nose, just very unfortunate.”

When asked if he would like to see charges brought against any Michigan State players, Harbaugh said he'll leave the decision to the authorities.

Tucker said he didn't know what happened post-game.

“I know that was a heated game,” Tucker said. “Things were heated. We were trying to get our guys in the locker room. We’ll have to figure out what happened.”

Manuel made a statement post-game as well regarding law enforcement involvement.

“What happened after the game is completely unacceptable,” Manuel said. “I’ve talked to the commissioner. He is looking into it. The police are also looking into it because they’ve seen the video. We will leave it in their hands, but this is not how we should interact after a game.”

MSU athletic director Alan Haller and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren were also spotted speaking to police after the incident. Haller released a statement Saturday night follwing the altercation:

“I have been in contact with Commissioner Warren," Haller said. "We will cooperate with the conference office and other efforts to gather more information.”

In one of the videos, a trio of Spartans — redshirt sophomore linebacker Itayvion Brown, freshman defensive end Zion Young and junior safety Angelo Grose — are shown attacking Michigan sophomore defensive back Ja'Den McBurrows.

A second video surfaced Sunday with a Michigan State player appearing to strike a Michigan player with what may be a helmet.

This is a developing story. Stay with The State News for continued updates.

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