Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker suspended four players immediately Sunday night for their roles in a postgame altercation with two Michigan players a day earlier.
Tucker announced the immediate suspensions of starting defensive back Angelo Grose, starting defensive end Zion Young, backup defensive end Itayvion “Tank” Brown and backup defensive back Khary Crump.
The Spartans battled with UM players Ja’Den McBurrows and Gemon Green as MSU returned to their dressing room after Saturday’s 29-7 loss to Wolverines.
Tucker emphasized MSU’s “core football values,” including “integrity, discipline, selflessness, tenacity and accountability,” in announcing the suspensions, calling videos of the incidents “disruptive electronic evidence.”
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“We are currently working with law enforcement, Michigan State and Michigan campus leaders, and the Big Ten Conference to further assess the events in Ann Arbor, including but not limited to , additional student-athlete involvement in altercations and contributing factors,” Tucker said in his statement. “The initial student-athlete suspensions will remain in place until investigations are complete.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the Spartan community remains our number one priority. You have my promise that we are committed to fairness, transparency and accountability, and that we will continue to take appropriate measures in this regard. Our core values and the responsibility that comes with wearing a state green and white jersey should never be compromised.
Video of an incident on the south (right) wall of the tunnel emerged on social media on Sunday afternoon, which appears to have happened just before the group melee witnessed by three reporters on the north wall ( left). In the new video, it appeared that Crump — a 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore who transferred to MSU from Arizona ahead of the 2021 season — used his helmet to swing at Green.
Video shot by reporters on Saturday night showed Crump being restrained by two teammates as a large group of Spartans dragged McBurrows along the opposite wall. This scrum turned into a scrum, with reporters witnessing and capturing video of Young, Brown, Grose and others throwing punches at McBurrows, with Young also attempting to kick the UM player after he was pushed to the ground.
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Grose, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound junior, started all eight games this season for MSU (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) safe or nickel. He had four tackles against the Wolverines on Saturday. Brown, a 6-foot-4, 247-pound sophomore who transferred to MSU from Minnesota ahead of the 2021 season, had a tackle in the game. Young, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound freshman who started his second straight game on Saturday, had seven tackles.
MSU athletic director Alan Haller also released a statement late Sunday condemning the players’ actions.
“Michigan State University, our athletics department, and our football program represent the highest ethical, academic, and athletic standards,” Haller said. “Based on the alarming evidence Coach Mel Tucker and I have received regarding a small number of our University of Michigan football student-athletes and student-athletes at Michigan Stadium, we agree that there It is necessary to take preliminary action and suspend four football student-athletes. The behavior we examined was both unusual for our football program and unacceptable.
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“On behalf of our university and our athletics department, I have been in constant contact with University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel and Big Ten conference commissioner Kevin Warren, in addition members of our Spartan family, to offer our apologies and assure our cooperation with law enforcement as they investigate this matter.”
Neither Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh nor Manuel on Saturday revealed the Wolverines who were involved in the altercations, although Harbaugh said it was two players – one of whom he claimed , had suffered a nose injury.
It’s unclear if the Big Ten plan to impose new sanctions on the Spartans or the Wolverines. League commissioner Kevin Warren, who was in attendance at the game, released a statement early Sunday morning saying, “The conference is currently gathering information, will thoroughly review the fact and take appropriate action.
Contact Chris Solari:email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari.
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