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Police turn Michigan-Michigan State football brawl evidence over to DA, no word if charges are coming


Angelique S. Chengelis

The Detroit News

The incident in the Michigan Stadium tunnel after the Michigan-Michigan State game two weeks ago has been turned over to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s office for review.

Melissa Overton, UM Deputy Chief of Police, in a statement Saturday evening to The Detroit News, said the incident has been “thoroughly investigated.”

In the moments after Michigan’s victory over Michigan State in the night game at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29, Michigan State’s players headed up the tunnel to their locker room. Michigan’s Gemon Green and Ja’Den McBurrows appear on video leaving the field and walking up the tunnel while the rest of the Michigan players remained on the field celebrating with the Paul Bunyan Trophy.

Two separate altercations broke out in the tunnel, portions of which were captured on several video clips, some shared that night on social media. One of the videos was taken by a Detroit News reporter, and two days after the incident, ABC released footage from its tunnel camera.

Michigan State’s Khary Crump was shown on the ABC video swinging his helmet at Green. Michigan State’s Jacoby Windmon also appeared to be involved in the altercation with Green.

In another video published by The News, Michigan’s Ja’Den McBurrows is seen being thrown to the floor by Michigan State’s Itayvion “Tank” Brown, while Angelo Grose and Zion Young appear to be punching and kicking McBurrows before he jumped back to his feet. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh two days later said McBurrows had gone to Gemon’s defense while he was being hit by Crump’s helmet. Then McBurrows was attacked by multiple players.

Michigan State coach Mel Tucker suspended eight players — Crump, Windmon, Brown, Grose and Young, along with Brandon Wright, Justin White and Malcolm Jones. Grose, Young, Brown and Crump were the first four players Tucker suspended the night after the incident. They have not practiced or played since.

“In collaboration with our law enforcement partners and Michigan State University, UMPD has thoroughly investigated what occurred,” Overton said in the statement. “The case has been turned over to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

“We understand and appreciate your interest in this unfortunate and unusual incident. Consistent with our commitment to transparency and due process, we will not share further information pending the prosecutor’s office review.”

Green, who was in concussion protocol and suffered a cut by his right eye according to his father, George, immediately hired top attorney Tom Mars, noted for his work with college athletes and coaches. Green has been in uniform the last two games. McBurrows also has hired legal representation, although details have not been provided.

“There has to be severe consequences for this kind of misconduct,” Mars said in a statement shared with media two days after the incident. “I’ve got news for the MSU players who did this to Gemon. They are going to feel the full wrath of the law.”

On Nov. 8, Los Angeles attorney David Diamond released a statement saying he is representing one of the suspended MSU players, although he did not name the player. Diamond said Michigan State players were responding to the actions of a Michigan player and told The News investigators needed to determine why Green and McBurrows were in the tunnel at that time.

“(To determine) what they did to instigate the event and whether the response by the Michigan State players was in self-defense or proportionate to the threat they felt from the Michigan players,” Diamond said.

Michigan played Nebraska on Saturday, the first game at Michigan Stadium since the incident. In response to what happened two weeks ago, and even two weeks earlier in the tunnel at halftime against Penn State, when videos showed the teams shouting at each other, a Michigan official said security changes have been made.

The were evident at halftime and after the game as Michigan was delayed leaving the field until every Nebraska player left the field.

Increased security staffing was added to areas bordering the tunnel opening and the field. Also, the plan includes a bigger gap between Michigan and the visiting team at halftime and postgame.


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