Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh addressed the assaults by Michigan State on Saturday and said on Monday there ‘needs to be accountability.’
During the game on Saturday between Michigan football and Michigan State, things got pretty ugly on the field for the Spartans who were humbled 29-7 by the Wolverines and shut out in the second half.
After the game, the Spartans’ behavior got really ugly too, attacking multiple Wolverines players — later identified as Ja’Den McBurrows and also Gemon Green.
Michigan State announced on Sunday that it was suspending four players but according to head coach Jim Harbaugh via On3, more needs to happen and the police are investigating the issue.
Here is part of what he said to local media on Monday:
"“As I said, those are sickening to watch. There needs to be accountability. There needs to be a full, thorough, timely investigation. I can’t imagine that these will … that this will not result in criminal charges. The videos are bad, and it’s clear what transpired. It seems very, very open and shut. As they say … watch the tape.”"
Green was one of the players attacked and he told the media on Monday that he will be pressing charges. Harbaugh also said he wasn’t sure if Green would be able to play against Rutgers and that both players sustained injuries. He also said they gave statements to the police.
Harbaugh scoffed at the idea that Michigan football players did anything wrong. As numerous social media posts have suggested, there wasn’t a fight between Michigan and Penn State. Even Michigan and Ohio State last season.
There was some shouting and that’s not all that surprising. But there weren’t any instances of punches being thrown, helmets being used as a weapon, or players being kicked by what looks like about 10 players while dozens of others watched and did nothing.
It’s only Michigan State players that did that and Harbaugh has a right to be upset.
"“I don’t buy any excuse that’s going to be laid off on the rivalry or the tunnel, or any other thing somebody can possibly blame,” Harbaugh said. “These are the actions of the individuals, and they need to be accountable for them. Two of our guys [were] walking up a tunnel, and exactly what the video shows from there.”"
A few suspensions aren’t nearly enough accountability. Anyone shown on video throwing a punch or kick should at least be suspended and there were a lot more than four. The guy using his helmet as a weapon should be kicked off the team.
It will be interesting to see what the police do but it’s hard to imagine something that clear in terms of wrongdoing, not leading to charges as Harbaugh said.
There needs to be a penalty paid for these assaults and so far, the response from MSU has been pretty underwhelming based on the actions of their players.