ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Seven Michigan State football players are being charged in a post-game hand-to-hand fight in Michigan Stadium tunnel last month, according to a statement Wednesday by the Washtenaw County Attorney’s Office.
The most serious charge is against cornerback Khary Crump, who faces an assault charge. The charges against the six others are administrative offenses. Linebacker Itayvion “Tank” Brown, safety Angelo Grose, cornerback Justin White, defensive end Brandon Wright and defensive end Zion Young each face aggravated assault charges, and linebacker Jacoby Windmon faces assault and assault charges.
The charges come ahead of the final games of the regular season: No. 3 Michigan plays rival No. 2 Ohio State on the road Saturday, a few hours before the Spartans end it at No. 11 Penn State and need a win to become bowl-able.
On October 29, scuffles broke out in the Michigan Stadium tunnel after the then No. 4 Wolverines beat the Spartans 29-7. Social media posts showed Michigan State players poking, punching and kicking Michigan State’s Ja’Den McBurrows in and near a hallway that leads to neither locker room. Brown, Grose and Young are seen on video getting physical with McBurrows.
McBurrows and defenseman Gemon Green walked through the tunnel alongside the Spartans after the game while much of Michigan’s team waved them off the field after beating their state rivals for the first time in three years.
Green, in another post, is surrounded by police while yelling at Michigan State players across the tunnel.
Crump appears to swing his helmet at a Michigan player in a video. That could explain the more serious charge, which carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison. State law describes felonious assault as an attack “using knives, iron bars, clubs, brass knuckles, or other dangerous weapons without intent to commit murder or cause extensive physical harm.”
A conviction for assault carries up to a year in prison, while assault and battery carry a maximum sentence of 93 days behind bars.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said one of the players, whom he did not identify, may have had a broken nose. He also said Green was hit by a Spartans player and McBurrows was tackled while trying to help.
The prosecutor’s statement did not provide details of the allegations, including who is accused of hitting whom. The statement also does not list possible jail terms for each charge. It adds that the office will not comment further as the case progresses.
Michigan President Santa J. Ono said in a statement Wednesday that the school appreciates “the thoughtful, deliberate approach of the Washtenaw County Attorney’s Office to this unfortunate incident.”
“We also want to express our concern for all the players involved, especially those who were injured,” Ono said. “The University of Michigan will continue to cooperate fully with further reviews of this matter.”
The Michigan State athletic director and soccer coach did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Michigan State coach Mel Tucker suspended eight players – including Malcolm Jones, who will not be charged – for their role in the hand-to-hand combat.
Following the Oct. 29 incident, Michigan State President Samuel Stanley publicly apologized for the “violent” skirmish.
“I am deeply saddened by this incident and the unacceptable behavior displayed by members of our football program,” Stanley said in a statement at the time. “On behalf of Michigan State University, I would like to sincerely apologize to the University of Michigan and the injured student-athletes.”
Tarm reported from Chicago.
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