Seven Michigan State players charged in Michigan tunnel dispute

Seven Michigan State soccer players were criminally charged Wednesday in connection with an altercation with Michigan players in the tunnel at Michigan Stadium following the Wolverines’ 29-7 win.

The allegations include an assault charge against Khary Crump, according to a press release from the Washtenaw County Attorney.

Other indictments included single counts of aggravated assault against Itayvion Brown, Angelo Grose, Justin White, Brandon Wright and Zion Young, and a charge of assault and assault against Jacoby Windmon.

Michigan state officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The October incident happened when players from both teams were walking through the tunnel leading from the pitch to the teams’ locker rooms. Spartans players appeared to throw punches, kicks and helmets at Michigan players later identified as Gemon Green and Ja’Den McBurrows.

At the time, Spartans football coach Mel Tucker apologized, and he and Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller called the incident “unacceptable.” In just a few days, Michigan State had suspended eight players.

“We appreciate the thoughtful, deliberate approach of the Washtenaw County Attorney’s Office to this unfortunate incident,” Michigan President Santa J. Ono said in a statement Wednesday. “We would also like to express our concern for all players involved, particularly those who have been injured.”

After the altercation, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said McBurrows, who did not play this fall while recovering from off-season surgery, suffered a broken nose. Green, a beginning defenseman, suffered a cut on his face and spent a week in concussion protocol and not traveling with the team to Michigan’s subsequent game against Rutgers.

Prior to the October incident, opposing coaches had highlighted Michigan Stadium’s tunnel as a potential hotspot. Unlike many other stadiums, where each team has its own exit from the field, 95-year-old Michigan Stadium has only one.

Security personnel are stationed throughout the tunnel, but it’s not uncommon for teams to be in it at the same time. After the Michigan State game, Michigan worked to have teams stagger their rides through the tunnel to avoid overlap.

During Penn State’s trip to Ann Arbor in early October, a verbal spat broke out between the teams, and Nittany Lions players allegedly threw peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at their opponents.

Write to Rachel Bachman at [email protected] and Laine Higgins at [email protected]

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