Jim Harbo says Michigan players were ‘assaulted’ in tunnel brawl with Michigan State

Several players engaged in a brawl after the match in the locker room tunnel after No. 4 Michigan 29-7 win Michigan State. Video captured by the Detroit News showed one of two alleged incidents between the two teams, in which an unidentified Michigan player was pushed and kicked by Michigan State players as they were leaving the field.

“Two of our players were assaulted,” Wolverines coach Jim Harbo Reporters. “I watched the one video, it’s 10 in 1. Too bad. I’ll let our sports director, Warde Manuel, address the authorities.”

Manuel was seen after the match speaking with Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, as well as local authorities.

“What happened after the match was completely unacceptable,” Manuel said. “I spoke to the commissioner and he’s looking into it. The police are looking into it too. We’ll leave it in their hands but that’s not how we should react after the match. This is not how another team should catch a player and do what they did. It’s unacceptable. Absolutely and absolutely. We’ll let the Big Ten and law enforcement handle the matter, but that’s not what the competition should be. It’s not how we should remember it.”

Harbo said one of the players had injured his nose in the fight but did not name anyone involved. Michigan State coach Mel Tucker wasn’t sure what exactly happened after the game. “I know it was a hot match,” Tucker said. “It was hot. We’re trying to get our guys into the locker room. We’ll have to find out what happened.”

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This is Michigan’s second tunnel struggle in many games. In the first half of the win 41-17 Pennsylvania statePlayers from both teams engaged in a heated exchange, which led to a protracted altercation in the media between Harpo and Penn State coach James Franklin.

“All you have to do is go into their locker room,” Harpo Reporters on Monday. “Like, I clearly saw that they just stopped. They wouldn’t let us go up into the tunnel. And it seemed like a secondary ploy to get us out of the locker rooms.”

Michigan Stadium, which opened in 1927, has only one exit from the stadium to two locker rooms. The visiting team usually heads the tunnel first, with Michigan following. During the game on Saturday, the unidentified Michigan player appeared in the tunnel while the rest of his teammates were celebrating on the field.

“There has to be a policy that the first team that gets in, there’s a roadblock,” Franklin said after the initial melee. “If it’s not, then this team will start talking to this team, they will start going back and forth, and something bad will happen.”

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