Michigan's head coach Jim Harbaugh called for “serious consequences” in the incident Saturday, as cornerback Gemon Green was identified as the player who was getting hit with a helmet by a Michigan State player in Saturday night’s brawl in the tunnel after the game.
Green’s father told ESPN the family is planning to take legal action against those Spartans players who were involved in the incident separate from what Ja’Den McBurrows experienced. Green’s father said his son was struck in the face, back and shoulder.
Harbaugh addressed the incident on Monday saying Green and McBurrows were the only Wolverines players involved in the incident. Harbaugh said he would be shocked if there were not criminal charges stemming from it, adding that Green was hit first, and McBurrows was attacked while trying to break it up.
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“What happened in the tunnel was egregious,” Harbaugh said. “Sickening to watch the videos, the ones that are on social media right now. Also, the ABC tunnel cam, it's a higher elevation, it shows much more of what took place.
“There needs to be accountability. There needs to be a full, thorough, timely investigation. I can't imagine this won't result in criminal charges. The videos are bad. And it's clear what transpired. It seems very open and shut.”
Harbaugh said an apology would fall short of what should happen.
“There should be serious consequences for the many individuals that are culpable,” he added.
Michigan State suspended four players involved in the incident so far.
Mel Tucker said in a statement late Sunday night that Tank Brown, Khary Crump, Angelo Grose and Zion Young were suspended effective immediately. Tucker said the suspensions came “after reviewing the disturbing electronic evidence collected to date of the altercations between Michigan State and University of Michigan student-athletes.”
“We are currently working with law enforcement, Michigan State and Michigan campus leadership, and the Big Ten Conference to further evaluate the events in Ann Arbor, including but not limited to, additional student-athlete participation in the altercations and contributing factors. The initial student-athlete suspensions will remain in place until the investigations are completed,” Tucker said.
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“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, personnel, and the Spartan community remain 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 action in this matter. Our core values and the responsibility that comes with wearing a State green and white jersey must never be compromised.”
The players’ roles were not spelled out in the statement, neither were the length of the suspensions. However, the videos posted to social media paint an ugly picture about what happened Saturday night following the Wolverines’ win over the Spartans.
Spartans players appeared to rough up McBurrows in the tunnel. Videos posted to social media appeared to show at least three Michigan State players pushing, punching and kicking McBurrows in and near a hallway that does not lead to either locker room. A second video posted earlier Sunday appeared to show a Michigan State player hitting his helmet on another Michigan player.
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“Two of our players were assaulted,” Harbaugh said Saturday. “I saw on the one video. Ten on one. It was pretty bad. It needs to be investigated.”