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Sports News

The Tunnel Brawl Incident Between the Wolverines and Spartans

Credit: iStock

Armand Jackson

On October 29th, a violent post game altercation broke out in the tunnel at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor involving student football athletes from the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State University Spartans. The incident appeared to have had Michigan Wolverine’s sophomore defensive back Ja’Den McBurrows and graduate student cornerback Gemon Green assaulted and outnumbered by multiple Michigan State Spartan players in the tunnel while the rest of the Wolverine team were still on the field. The brawl was captured on video as several reporters were also in the tunnel for postgame press conferences and it quickly spread on social media as well as made headway on cable news outlets. 

Reporters that were present at the time included The Detroit News’ Matt Charboneau, Kyle Austin with mLive, and Chris Solari with Detroit Free Press. Michigan’s head coach, Jim Harbaugh, addressed the fight immediately after it happened and called for an investigation to be conducted by the proper authorities. Those involved in the investigation included both university campus police departments, Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren, and Washtenaw County law enforcement. University of Michigan officials, in a series of statements, condemned the altercation, offered their apologies, and stated that along with cooperating with the authorities, steps were being taken to address the incident including suspensions. 

Michigan State University head coach Mel Tucker suspended eight Spartan players involved in the altercation; Tank Brown; Khary Crump; Angelo Grose; Zion Young; Malcolm Jones; Justin White; Jacoby Windmon; and Brandon Wright. Gemon Green decided to press charges from the altercation and with help from his father, George Green, contracted Tom Mars as his attorney. According to The Detroit News, George Green has stated that his son had to go into concussion protocol and suffered a cut by his right eye. Ja’Den McBurrows also appeared to have hired legal counsel but further details have not been provided yet. However, one Spartan player has received legal representation as well. 

Los Angeles attorney David Diamond released a statement that he is representing one of the suspended players but did not specify which one. Tom Mars seems determined to see the Spartan players involved in the incident punished for their actions by stating: “I’ve got news for the MSU players who did this to Gemon. They are going to feel the full wrath of the law.” But a news release statement from David Diamond alleges that it was in fact one of the Michigan Wolverine players who started the altercation and that there were signs of major security failures in Ann Arbor. Although there have been reports of increased security between the Michigan Stadium field and the tunnel entrance since the brawl.

While the lawyers discuss with their respective clients potential next steps, there has been recent developments in regards to the investigation on the incident. A few days ago, University of Michigan Deputy Chief of Police Melissa Overton in a statement to The Detroit News said: “In collaboration with our law enforcement partners and Michigan State University, UMPD has thoroughly investigated what occurred. The case has been turned over to the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office for review.”