During the Michigan Wolverines‘ 29-6 loss to the rival Michigan State Spartans, Wolverines’ senior offensive tackle Taylor Lewan appeared to be twisting the helmet of Spartans’ senior safety Isiah Lewis.
The play came following a sack of Wolverines’ quarterback Devin Gardner by Lewis.
After the game, Lewan told reporters he was trying to protect his teammate from Spartan defenders, but admitted he could have done things differently and would later apologize.
Wolverines’ head coach Brady Hoke called Lewan’s actions “unacceptable,” but understood what the team’s emotional leader was trying to do.
“He was trying, in some ways, to get our quarterback out of harm’s way in a pile,” Hoke told Chantel Jennings of ESPN.com. “Some of it was he got overtaken with his emotion. And, you know, he’s kind of one of those guys, as you all well know, who’s a very good teammate.”
“It’s not what we want to portray or be,” Hoke said. “It’s not who we are.”
The Big 10 is reviewing the play in order to decide if a suspension is needed.