Things turned sour in the wake of Michigan’s 29-7 win over Michigan State.
After the game, video of an altercation in the tunnel involving several Michigan State players and a Michigan player surfaced. The video appeared to show a group of MSU players surrounding Michigan defensive back Ja’Den McBurrows.
Punches and kicks were thrown in the videos, which were posted on social media by several members of the media. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters that two Michigan players “were assaulted” and one has a nose injury that could be a broken nose.
Extract from the Detroit news:
The Michigan player appeared to be defensive back Ja’Den McBurrows, who was down in the middle of several Michigan State players. When McBurrows got up, Michigan State linebacker Itayvion Brown grabbed him and threw him through an open door at the end of the tunnel. A Michigan State Police officer is then seen grabbing Brown’s jersey to restrain him. At least two other Michigan State players, safety Angelo Grose and defensive end Zion Young, were seen by a News reporter punching McBurrows.
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said he’s been in touch with Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren as well as local authorities. Warren attended Saturday’s game in Ann Arbor.
“What happened after the game was completely unacceptable. I spoke to the commissioner. He is looking into it. We have the police also investigating because they saw the video. And so they are tackling it. We’ll leave it in their hands, but that’s not how we should interact after a game.” manual said.
“This is not how another team should grab a player and do what they did. It’s totally and utterly unacceptable. We’ll let the Big Ten and law enforcement deal with it, but that’s not how a rivalry should be. That’s not how it should be remembered. We won on the pitch. This man [Jim Harbaugh] and his team, those players, went out there and won. And for that to happen is unacceptable. That’s all I’m going to say. I’ll leave it up to Kevin and law enforcement from now on.
University of Michigan police will launch an investigation, according to the Associated Press.
After the game, Michigan State coach Mel Tucker was asked about the incident, but said he was unaware of what happened.
“I know it was a heated game. Things were heating up. We’re trying to get our guys into the dressing room. We’ll have to figure out what happened,” Tucker said.
Michigan Stadium has only one tunnel that leads to both the home and visitor locker rooms. Earlier this season, there was an incident at halftime in Michigan’s game against Penn State. After that game, Penn State coach James Franklin said he thought the way the tunnel was used needed to be adjusted in order to avoid clashes.
“All there has to be is a two-minute or two-minute buffer between the two teams,” Franklin said Oct. 15. “This team is there before this team gets closer and however we want to do it. But we are not the first team that has had problems like this. For me, with the current structure, we will not be the last.
Asked about Franklin’s comments earlier this week, Harbaugh was dismissive and said the PSU players weren’t letting the Michigan team go up the tunnel and into the locker room.
“It just seemed like a sophomore ploy to try to keep us out of our locker room. And [Franklin] it looked like he was the ringleader of it all,” Harbaugh said.