Seven Michigan St. football players charged in tunnel brawl
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – Seven Michigan State football players have been charged for their actions Postgame brawl in Michigan Stadium tunnel Last month, according to a statement Wednesday from the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office.
The most serious charge is against cornerback Khari Crump, who faces one felony count of aggravated assault. The charges against the remaining six are misdemeanors. Linebacker Etavion “Tank” Brown, safety Angelo Gross, cornerback Justin White, defensive end Brandon Wright and defensive end Zion Young are each charged with one count of assault, and linebacker Jacoby Windmon is charged with one count each of assault and battery.
No Michigan players are facing charges, which were announced before the team’s final regular-season game. No. 3 Michigan plays rival No. 2 Ohio State on the road Saturday for the Big Ten East Division title. A few hours later, the Spartans ended the season at No. 11 Penn State, needing a win to become bowl eligible.
The brawl began after the Wolverines beat the Spartans 29-7 in the tunnel at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29. Social media posts show Michigan State players shoving, punching and shoving Michigan’s Jaden McBurroughs in a hallway that doesn’t lead to the locker room. Brown, Gross and Young are seen on video getting physical with McBurroughs.
McBurroughs and defensive back Jaymon Greene walked alongside the Spartans in the tunnel after the game as most of Michigan’s team was leading the Spartans off the field after beating their in-state rivals for the first time in three years.
Green, in another post, is seen surrounded by police as Michigan State players yell across the tunnel.
Crump in a video A Michigan player is seen swinging his helmet. It can lead to more serious charges, which carry a maximum prison sentence of four years. State law defines felonious assault as “the use of a knife, iron bar, club, brass knuckles or other dangerous weapon without intent to kill or cause great bodily harm.”
Felony convictions for assault carry up to a year in jail, while misdemeanor assault and battery carry a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said one player, whom he did not identify, may have a broken nose. He also said Green was punched by a Spartan player and attacked when McBurroughs tried to help.
The statement from the prosecutor’s office did not detail the charges, including who was allegedly hit. It added that the office would have no further comment as the case moves forward. It is unclear when the accused players will make their initial court appearances.
Michigan State’s athletic director and football coach did not immediately return requests for comment.
Michigan President Santa J. Ono said in a statement Wednesday that the school appreciated “the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office’s thoughtful, deliberate approach to this unfortunate incident.”
“We want to express our concern for all the players involved, especially those who have been injured,” Ono said. “The University of Michigan will continue to fully cooperate with any additional review of this matter.”
An attorney representing Green, Tom Mars, said after the charges were filed that he was “not surprised by the prosecutor’s decision.”
Asked if his client could sue for the concussion, Marrs said that after discussing it with Green and his father, they agreed with his recommendation “to take no action on the tunnel incident until the end of the season.”
“I don’t want any of this to be a distraction for Michigan football and neither does Jamon,” Marrs said.
After the October 29 incident, then-Michigan State President Samuel Stanley publicly apologized for the “violent” confrontation. His departure was not related to the clashes in Ann Arbor last month.
“I deeply regret this incident and the unacceptable behavior by members of our football program,” Stanley said in a statement at the time. “On behalf of Michigan State University, I offer my sincere apologies to the University of Michigan and the student-athletes who were injured.”
After announcing the charges Wednesday, Michigan State Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff released a statement saying the school “will continue to evaluate this matter and cooperate with any investigative review.”
“While we do not condone the actions taken by some football players on Oct. 29, we will support our student-athletes through this process,” he said. “MSU strongly believes in restorative justice practices and education around harmful actions.”
He added that universities must make our respective environments safe places for competition. He said he was committed to making “meaningful changes” to that goal and would report back by the end of the year. Woodruff did not elaborate on what those changes might be.
Tarm reports from Chicago.
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