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Michigan Police Investigating Beatdown Of UM Players By Michigan State In Tunnel After Game

Ann Arbor, MI – Police are investigating a fight that broke out in the tunnel back to the lockers rooms at the University of Michigan’s (UM) football stadium on Saturday after the home team beat rival Michigan State University (MSU) 29 to 7.

Videos of the chaos at the end of the game on Oct. 29 in the Ann Arbor stadium showed that the Michigan State football team was heading off the field while a group of Michigan Wolverine players waved goodbye to them in a mocking manner.

It appeared in the video that coaching staff largely stayed in between the two teams as the Michigan State Spartans headed into the tunnel.

The video showed that a Michigan Wolverine wearing No. 22 headed into the tunnel in the middle of the group of Michigan State players clad in their white away jerseys.

At first, there didn’t appear to be any problems, the video showed.

Then all of a sudden, a Michigan Wolverine wearing No. 1 skipped up the right side of the group of Michigan State players and joined the group heading inside.

That player has been identified as UM defensive back Ja’Den McBurrows, The Detroit News reported.

That was about the same time that some pushing and shoving started between the home team and the few MSU Spartans that had not yet left the field, the video showed.

Coaches and officials stayed between the players and the remaining Spartan football players headed inside the building, too.

But then tempers flared inside the tunnel and a big fight erupted between a group of Spartans and the Wolverines’ McBurrows, The Detroit News reported.

Video of the fight showed 10 Michigan State players surrounding McBurrows, who was on the ground.

Several of the Spartans landed punches and kicks on the rival team player in the video.

Then MSU linebacker Itayvion Brown grabbed McBurrows and tossed him through an open doorway at the end of the tunnel, according to The Detroit News.

That was when the video showed a Michigan State Police trooper grabbed Brown’s jersey and pulled him away from McBurrows.

The Detroit News reported that MSU safety Angelo Grose and defensive end Zion Young were also seen by a reporter throwing punches at McBurrows.

Both head coaches – MSU’s Mel Tucker and UM’s Jim Harbaugh – raced into the tunnel and ordered their players to go to their locker rooms.

Harbaugh called the fight involving defensive back McBurrows “10 on one” and said there a second Wolverine who was also “assaulted,” The Detroit News reported.

The other player who was injured was the first Wolverine seen heading into the tunnel in the pack of Spartans, No. 22 Gemon Green.

Although the school hasn’t confirmed the identities of the players involved in the altercation, Harbaugh said one of his players might have a broken nose as a result.

“Pretty bad,” Harbaugh told The Detroit News. “I’m going to let our athletic director, Warde Manuel, address it with authorities.”

“Very unfortunate,” the coach said.

UM Athletic Director Warde Manuel called the incident “unacceptable” and told reporters that Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren was at the game and would be investigating what occurred, The Detroit News reported.

“What happened after the game is completely unacceptable,” he said. “This is not how we should interact after a game. This is not the way another team should grab a player and do what they did. It’s completely and totally unacceptable.”

University of Michigan Police Department (UMPD) Deputy Chief Melissa Overton said her department had launched a co-investigation with the Michigan State University Police Department into the incident in the tunnel after the game

“Situations like these, and the safety of our community, are taken very seriously,” Deputy Chief Overton said.

She said officers from UMPD, Michigan State Police troopers, and Washtenaw County sheriff’s deputies were all on hand at Michigan Stadium during the game, The Detroit News reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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