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Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker and President Samuel Stanley release statements on postgame tunnel incident

Michigan State v Michigan Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Michigan State was defeated by Michigan by a final score of 29-7 on Saturday night. However, it was the aftermath of the game in which things escalated in the worst way.

Following the conclusion of the game, there was a fight in the tunnel near the locker rooms. In a video posted to Twitter, it appeared that several Michigan State players were either shoving, kicking and/or hitting Michigan sophomore defensive back Ja’Den McBurrows (No. 1), who appeared to enter the tunnel before the rest of his team. How exactly the scuffle started after that is unclear. But it was abhorrent and classless behavior from the MSU players regardless of what prompted it.

A second video was also posted on social media, which appeared to show an unidentified Michigan State player hitting a Michigan player (believed to be graduate senior defensive back Gemon Green) with some sort of object.

Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. — who recently announced his resignation, but is still currently the sitting president — released a statement on the incident on Sunday morning.

“I’m extremely saddened by this incident and the unacceptable behavior depicted by members of our football program,” Stanley said. “On behalf of Michigan State University, my heartfelt apology to the University of Michigan and the student-athletes who were injured.

“There is no provocation that could justify the behavior we are seeing in videos. Rivalries can be intense but should never be violent.

“Coach Tucker will be holding the players involved responsible, and our football team and university will be cooperating with all related investigations by law enforcement and the Big Ten Conference.”

Speaking of head coach Mel Tucker, he also released a statement on Sunday morning, via Twitter. Tucker said “there is no excuse” for the behavior of his team on Saturday night and that the program will take “appropriate action.”

Tucker’s full statement reads:

“As Spartans our program has a responsibility to uphold the highest level of sportsmanship. While emotions were very high at the conclusion of our rivalry game at Michigan Stadium, there is no excuse for behavior that puts our team or our opponents at risk.

“In complete cooperation with law enforcement, the Big Ten Conference and MSU and UM leadership, we will evaluate the events in Ann Arbor and take swift and appropriate action.”

Alan Haller, Michigan State’s athletic director, had also released a statement after the incident occurred.

“I have been in contact with (Big Ten) Commissioner (Kevin) Warren. We will cooperate with the conference office and other efforts to gather more information,” Haller said.