Spartans star Windmon among 4 more suspended in tunnel melee
One of the Big Ten's top defensive players and three other Michigan State football players were suspended Tuesday for their roles in the melee in the Michigan Stadium tunnel.
Michigan State athletic director Alan Haller and coach Mel Tucker announced the latest suspensions in a statement, bringing the total number of suspended players to eight.
The players suspended Tuesday were defensive end-linebacker Jacoby Windmon, cornerbacks Malcolm Jones and Justin White and defensive end Brandon Wright.
Haller and Tucker said the disciplinary action was taken as the school continues to review electronic evidence of the postgame events Saturday night in the long and narrow tunnel leading from the field to the home and visitor locker rooms.
Windmon, who joined the Spartans this season after playing the previous three at UNLV, leads the Big Ten with 10 1/2 tackles for loss and is tied for second with 5 1/2 sacks. His five forced fumbles are most in the nation.
Windmon started six games at defensive end and the last two at linebacker. He has been named conference defensive player of the week three times.
Michigan State on Sunday announced the suspensions of linebacker Tank Brown, safety Angelo Grose, defensive end Zion Young and cornerback Khary Crump.
The Spartans play at No. 14 Illinois this Saturday.
Scuffles broke out in the tunnel after the fourth-ranked Wolverines beat the Spartans 29-7.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said defensive back Gemon Green was punched by a Spartans player in the tunnel to spark the fracas and that teammate Ja’Den McBurrows was attacked when he tried to help.
McBurrows is seen on a video shared on social media being pushed, punched and kicked by multiple Michigan State players, who pulled him out of the tunnel and into a hallway that doesn’t lead to either locker room.
Harbaugh said both players have injuries, adding he did not know if Green, a starting cornerback for a third straight season, would be cleared to play Saturday night at Rutgers.
Brown, Grose and Young are seen on video getting physical with McBurrows. Windmon is seen on video being involved in the altercation with Green.
McBurrows and Green went up the tunnel, walking alongside the Spartans, after the game while much of Michigan’s team was waving them off the field after beating its in-state rival for the first time in three years.
“We are transparently working with law enforcement and the Big Ten Conference to evaluate additional facts and evidence surrounding the events in Ann Arbor,” the MSU statement said. “We will continue to take appropriate action in this matter as we learn more. The student-athlete suspensions will remain in place until the investigations are completed.”
It was the second straight game at Michigan that included an altercation in the tunnel. Michigan players said Penn State players threw peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at them as the teams headed to the locker room at halftime of a close game the Wolverines ultimately won in a 41-17 rout on Oct. 15.