Harbaugh expects Michigan State players to be charged

Sports

Michigan wide receiver Ronnie Bell (8) runs after a catch as Michigan State cornerback Kendell Brooks (33) defends in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(NewsNation) — Jim Harbaugh expects the four suspended Michigan State football players involved in roughing up two members of Michigan’s team to be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

“I can’t imagine that this will not result in criminal charges,” the Michigan coach said Monday.

Michigan State coach Mel Tucker said later Monday that it would be irresponsible to respond to Harbaugh’s call for criminal charges due to the ongoing investigation.

“We’re not here to make any excuses for the behaviors Saturday,” Tucker said. “They are unacceptable.”

The postgame melee began after the Wolverines beat the Spartans 29-7 on Saturday. Social media posts showed at least three Michigan State players pushing, punching and kicking Michigan’s Ja’Den McBurrows in and near a hallway that does not lead to either locker room.

Harbaugh said defensive back Gemon Green was punched by a Spartans player in the tunnel to spark the melee and that teammate Ja’Den McBurrows was attacked when he tried to help.

Tucker announced Sunday night that linebacker Tank Brown, safety Angelo Grose, defensive end Zion Young and cornerback Khary Crump were suspended immediately. Tucker said the decision was made after “reviewing the disturbing electronic evidence.”

MSU President Samuel Stanley issued a statement condemning the attack.

“I’m extremely saddened by this incident and the unacceptable behavior depicted by members of our football program. On behalf of Michigan State University, my heartfelt apology to the University of Michigan and the student-athletes who were injured.    

“There is no provocation that could justify the behavior we are seeing on the videos. Rivalries can be intense but should never be violent.”

University of Michigan Deputy Police Chief Melissa Overton said an investigation is underway in partnership with Michigan State Police, and Michigan’s athletic department and football program.

“The investigation is continuing,” Overton said Monday.

Tucker said the suspensions for the Michigan State players will remain in place until the investigation concludes.

The Big Ten said Sunday it is gathering information and plans to take appropriate action.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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