Big Ten fines Michigan State for pregame incident against Michigan at Spartan Stadium

Big Ten fines Michigan State for pregame incident against Michigan at Spartan Stadium


Michigan players, including Devin Bush (in yellow), refused to move as MSU went through its pregame walk, and a confrontation ensued, Oct. 20, 2018.
Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press

The Big Ten issued a $10,000 fine to Michigan State and publicly reprimanded the university, football coach Mark Dantonio, the University of Michigan and coach Jim Harbaugh for their actions during and after Saturday morning’s pregame confrontation at Spartan Stadium.

“We are fortunate the series of events that occurred prior to the Michigan-Michigan State game did not escalate into a much more serious matter,” league commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. “While traditions hold great importance on our campuses, traditions do not supersede the values of good sportsmanship or the requirement for player safety. We expect more from our coaches, students and administrators and will continue to work with our institutions to prioritize good sportsmanship moving forward.”

League officials determined MSU violated the Big Ten Sportsmanship Policy by walking across the field with linked arms “and initiated contact with multiple members of Michigan’s team who were legitimately on the field during pregame warmups,” according to a conference release. The monetary fine was due to this.

Dantonio was reprimanded “for failing to take action to mitigate a foreseeable conflict from occurring.”

The league reprimanded Michigan linebacker Devin Bush for his conduct, which included grinding his cleats repeatedly into the midfield logo and yelling at MSU players.

Jim Harbaugh also received a reprimand for his comments made about the incident, Dantonio and the Spartans during press conferences on Saturday and Monday.

The Big Ten said the matter is concluded and will have no further comment.

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Before Saturday’s game, Michigan State players lined up along the back of the north end zone, linked arms and began to walk the length of the field.  Free Press video shows the confrontation with Michigan players Lawrence Marshall, Devin Bush and Lavert Hill.

oth Bush and Hill had to be restrained by members of Michigan’s support staff from chasing the line of MSU players to the south side end zone.

After the Spartans left the field, with both teams yelling at each other, Bush then went to midfield and repeatedly dragged his cleats across the Spartan head logo as multiple Michigan staff members stood and watched.

Michigan won the game, 21-7, to improve to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten.

Nick Baumgardner contributed to this report.

Follow the Detroit Free Press‘ Chris Solari on Twitter @chrissolari.


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