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Warde Manuel releases statement on Big Ten discipline from U-M/MSU tunnel fallout

Anthony Broome11/28/22
Article written by:On3 imageAnthony Broome

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University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel played football for the Michigan Wolverines. (Photo by Lon Horwedel / TheWolverine.com)

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel has weighed in on the Big Ten’s decision on discipline for the Oct. 29 tunnel situation in Ann Arbor. Earlier Monday, the conference levied a $100,000 fine against MSU, suspended cornerback Khary Crump the first 8 games of next season and was content with all other decisions made.

A reprimand was also given to Michigan for a security issue in the postgame aftermath, which Manuel took the time to explain in a statement released Monday night.

“On behalf of the University of Michigan and our athletic department, I appreciate the thoroughness with which the Big Ten Conference and Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office have approached this matter in response to the October 29 football game vs. Michigan State University,” Manuel said.

“We remain focused on providing the safest possible gameday environment for all participants and attendees, which includes public spaces at Michigan Stadium and around the locker rooms. 

“We accept the Big Ten Conference’s findings in full. The conference office’s reprimand of U-M was in response to a fan making physical contact with the MSU coach – which is wholly unacceptable. The offender was quickly identified and swiftly ejected from the Stadium by our Event Team. In addition, to reduce the possibility of future incidents, we proactively implemented changes ahead of our final home game by increasing security personnel in areas around the playing surface. Security and procedural reviews will remain a constant focal point of future event planning and reviews. 

“I remain grateful for and proud of our student-athletes, Jim (Harbaugh), our coaches and medical staff for how they conducted themselves during and immediately following the contest. Their care for our two injured student-athletes and concern for one another under stressful circumstances speak volumes for their collective character.”

Michigan State suspended redshirt sophomore linebacker Itayvion Brown, freshman defensive end Zion Young, junior safety Angelo Grose, and sophomore cornerback Khary Crump the Sunday night after the game. Senior linebacker/defensive end Jacoby Windmon, redshirt junior cornerback Justin White, senior defensive end Brandon Wright, and freshman cornerback Malcolm Jones were suspended later in the week. 

All players but Jones are facing charges with Crump facing the most serious, a count of felonious assault. All others are facing misdemeanor charges of aggravated assault, while Windmon is facing misdemeanor assault and battery charges.

The Big Ten is satisfied with the prosecutor’s handling of the situation that had 7 of the 8 MSU players facing charges, the most serious being Crump for swinging his helmet at Michigan’s Gemon Green. Crump will be suspended through the first 8 games of next season, while his teammates are reinstated effective immediately. Michigan State has also been fined $100,000 and the actions of an unnamed member of the staff have been handled internally.

The University of Michigan has been reprimanded by the Big Ten for a fan touching the head of MSU coach Mel Tucker.

“The conference has concluded that the University of Michigan did not meet the standards of the Big Ten Conference Football Game Management Manual policy,” the statement from the Big Ten read on Michigan’s reprimand. “The policy requires the conference member institution game host to provide adequate protection for personnel of both home and visiting teams when entering and leaving playing arenas.”

MSU head coach Mel Tucker and athletic director Alan Haller said: “We accept the findings from the Big Ten Conference and are ready to move forward as a football program. We are committed to supporting our student-athletes and will continue to do so throughout this process.”