Big Ten disciplines MSU, U-M for tunnel incident

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Big Ten disciplines MSU, U-M for tunnel incident

The Big Ten conference released a statement Monday outlining disciplinary measures for both Michigan and Michigan State stemming from the attack in the Michigan Stadium tunnel after the two teams played Oct. 29.

After the game, Michigan defensive backs Gemon Green and Ja’Den McBurrows were assaulted in the tunnel leading up to Michigan’s locker room. Michigan State defensive back Khary Crump allegedly struck Green with his helmet and has since been charged with felonious assault by the Washtenaw County prosecutor’s office.

Itayvion Brown, Angelo Grose, Justin White, Brandon Wright and Zion Young were all charged with aggravated assault, a misdemeanor, and Jacoby Windmon was charged with assault and battery for their participation in the fight.

The conference has fined Michigan State $100,000 and has suspended Crump for four games from the incident date, plus the first eight games of the 2023 season. The other six players charged, along with Malcolm Jones, had already served four-game suspensions and the conference accepted that as sufficient and completed.

Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller and head coach Mel Tucker released a joint statement saying they accept the findings from the conference and are immediately reinstating Brown, Grose, White, Windmon, Wright and Young to the team.

The Big Ten’s release also mentions a Michigan State football staff member who was involved in a separate sportsmanship matter, but does not detail what that entailed, and said the university has properly disciplined that individual.

“Our institution does not excuse the concerning actions by some of our student-athletes,” Michigan State Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff said in a statement. “At the same time, we challenge ourselves collectively to be thoughtful in how we approach this situation so that further harm isn’t needlessly done.

“What seems to be missing from the disciplinary outcomes are the learning opportunities that can and should coexist with findings of fault. We must ask ourselves: Are we doing enough, as leaders, to help further safety within our competitions through meaningful actions and education? Or are we risking the opportunities and livelihoods of young people without creating change for success in the future?”

The University of Michigan was also found by the conference to be at fault for not meeting the standards of the Big Ten’s policy to provide adequate protection for personnel of both home and visiting teams when entering and leaving playing arenas.

Michigan was given a public reprimand for the policy failure.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said the Big Ten’s reprimand was related to a fan touching Tucker as he walked into the tunnel, actions he said were “wholly unacceptable.”

“The offender was quickly identified and swiftly ejected,” Manuel said.

The conference did not immediately respond to confirm whether Michigan’s reprimand was unrelated to the altercations in the tunnel involving players.

The Big Ten said it deferred its initial findings and disciplinary action until an investigation by the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security was completed. That investigation has been completed and passed on to the Washtenaw County prosecutor, who charged the Michigan State players Wednesday.

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