Seven Michigan State soccer players face criminal charges over their role in violent post-game incidents following a Michigan state loss on Oct. 29.
The Washtenaw County Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon that defense attorney Khary Crump faces a count of criminal assault, while six others face misdemeanor charges. Linebacker/defensive end Jacoby Windmon faces assault and assault charges, while linebacker Itayvion “Tank” Brown, defensive backs Angelo Grose and Justin White, and defensive ends Brandon Wright and Zion Young face aggravated assault charges.
Those seven were suspended indefinitely by Michigan State following the incidents. The only banned player not facing criminal charges is Malcolm Jones.
A spokesman for the Michigan state football team did not immediately return a message asking for comment on the charges filed Wednesday.
The University of Michigan Police Department conducted the investigation with help from the Michigan State University Police Department and the Michigan State Police, the Washtenaw County Attorney’s Office said in a release. The University of Michigan Police Department announced that the investigation was closed and referred to prosecutors on November 12.
In announcing the charges, the Washtenaw County Attorney’s Office thanked police for their “extensive investigation” and noted that they would not comment on the progress of the cases.
The Big Ten took no disciplinary action for the incidents and released a statement last week saying it was waiting for prosecutors to make a decision.
After Michigan’s 29-7 win over Michigan State, the Spartans were led through the tunnel and two Wolverines – defensemen Gemon Green and Ja’Den McBurrows – headed to the locker rooms at the same time.
Although it’s still unclear how the incidents began, video evidence showed Crump swinging his helmet at Green. Windmon put his helmet back on and was dealing with Green at this point.
In another incident, McBurrows was surrounded and pushed and punched by Young, Brown and Grose. White, Wright and Jones were also part of this incident.
After the incidents, Michigan State coach Mel Tucker and then-President Samuel Stanley issued apologies for what transpired in Michigan Stadium’s tunnel. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh urged criminal charges to be filed.
“At the University of Michigan, we appreciate the thoughtful, deliberate approach of the Washtenaw County Attorney’s Office to this unfortunate incident,” Michigan President Santa Ono said in a released statement. “We would also like to express our concern for all the players involved, particularly those who have been injured. The University of Michigan will continue to fully cooperate with further reviews of this matter.”
Tucker previously declined to comment on details of the incidents, citing the ongoing investigation.
“I have no new information,” Tucker said Monday. “The expectation for me is if I get more information we can regroup. That’s the only expectation I have.”
Green’s family hired prominent attorney Tom Mars, who said Green suffered a concussion and other injuries. David Diamond, a California-based attorney representing Grose, said his own investigation showed that a Michigan player, whom he declined to identify, sparked one of the post-game incidents.
“Both my client Angelo Grose and I are somewhat surprised and shocked that criminal charges have been filed,” Diamond said Wednesday. “In the past 30 days, I have reviewed other similar incidents on and off a football field in both college and professional football and have yet to see a criminal charge of similar alleged conduct. Of course, my client and I are currently examining all options.”
The incidents led to Michigan adopting new protocols for the tunnel, including increased security and notable gaps between both teams’ players entering at halftime and after the game.
No. 3 Michigan (11-0, 8-0 Big Ten) plays at No. 2 Ohio State (11-0, 8-0) with a berth in the Conference Championship on the line on Saturday.
Michigan State (5-6, 3-5) finishes Saturday’s regular season in 11th-ranked Penn State (9-2, 6-2) and needs a win to be eligible for the Bowl.