Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh described the actions of Michigan State players in the tunnel as “assault” while calling for an investigation.
Michigan football’s win over Michigan State came to an extremely ugly end in the tunnel as a crowd of Spartan players appeared to attack a helmet-less Wolverine.
Video of the altercation emerged on social media on Saturday night after the 29-7 Michigan victory. It showed an unidentified Michigan player being shoved and thrown to the ground by a group of Michigan State players.
And apparently, he wasn’t the only one to get jumped.
Jim Harbaugh press conference on Michigan State “assault” on Michigan players
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh addressed the situation in his postgame press conference, making reference to two Wolverine players being involved.
“Two of our players were assaulted,” Harbaugh said. “We saw the one video. It’s 10-on-one. Pretty bad. I’m gonna let our athletic director, Warde Manuel, address it with the authorities. Glad to talk about the football game the rest of the way. Maybe Warde would want to come up and talk and give more detail to it. But looked pretty open and shut. I mean, one of our players has a nasal injury, could be a broken nose. Just very unfortunate.”
Athletic director Warde Manuel also gave a statement decrying the behavior.
“What happened after the game was completely unacceptable,” Manuel said. “I’ve talked to the [Big Ten] commissioner [Kevin Warren]. He is looking into it. We have the police also looking into it because they’ve seen the video. So they’re addressing it. We will leave it in their hands, but this is not how we should interact after the game. This is not the way another team should grab a player and do what they did. It’s completely and utterly unacceptable.
“We will let the Big Ten and law enforcement will handle it, but this is not what a rivalry should be about. It’s not how it should be remembered. We won on the field, this man and his team and those players went out there and won. And for that to happen, it’s unacceptable. That’s all I will say, I’ll leave it to Kevin and law enforcement to handle from here on out.”
Mel Tucker press conference on Michigan State tunnel incident
Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker, who apparently hadn’t seen the video, didn’t have much to say about the situation.
“I don’t know what happened. So we’re trying to get our guys in the locker room. It’s heated and we’ll have to figure out what happened,” Tucker said.
Video from Michigan’s field shows what happened before tunnel incident
How did this all happen?
Video from the field after the game shows two Michigan players enter the tunnel amidst a crowd of Michigan State players. The second of those is wearing a No. 1 jersey, which is the same number as the player seen in the video of the scuffle.
The player in the video is believed to be Ja’Den McBurrows, a sophomore defensive back who has not played this season while recovering from an ACL injury.
Michigan’s tunnel has been noted for hostile interactions between teams in the past because both sets of players use the same tunnel to get to their locker room. However, an incident like this will absolutely require some serious attention and potentially considerable punishment.