Four Michigan State University football players were suspended from the team after they appeared to have been involved in an off-field altercation with a rival, the institution said Sunday.
The suspension was ordered after school officials looked at video from Saturday’s 29-7 loss in Ann Arbor against home team Michigan and discovered the four were part of a group of teammates surrounding the rival, Michigan State coach Mel Tucker said in a statement.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh alleged during the postgame news conference that 10 Michigan State players were part of a group in which people grabbed, pushed and assaulted a single Michigan player in a Michigan Stadium tunnel.
Reporters at the game captured video of the altercation. One of his players, Harbaugh said, may have suffered a broken nose.
Harbaugh indicated there was another confrontation near the field, which video of the scene seems to support. Asked about the altercations after the game, Tucker said, “Things were heated.”
Tucker said in Sunday’s statement that linebacker Itayvion “Tank” Brown, cornerback Khary Crump, safety Angelo Gross and defensive end Zion Young were suspended effective immediately and at least until investigations conclude.
The status of others possibly involved was not clear. Tucker said school officials were cooperating with Big Ten, Michigan and law enforcement officials, with the possibility of “additional student-athlete participation in the altercations” prompting action.
He said the altercations he saw on video were “disturbing” and suggested they contrasted with team values that include integrity, discipline and accountability.
“We will continue to take appropriate action in this matter,” Tucker said in Sunday’s statement.
Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said at the news conference that law enforcement is investigating.
Courtney Brogle and Lindsey Pipia contributed.
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