Big Ten fines Michigan State $100K, reprimands Michigan for tunnel melee

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Big Ten disciplined Michigan State and Michigan for their roles in stadium tunnel altercations that led to seven Spartans being charged with crimes.

The conference announced that it is fining Michigan State $100,000 for its football players “hitting, kicking or using of their helmet” to hit Michigan players and suspending cornerback Khary Crump, who is facing a felony charge, for the first eight games of next season.

The Big Ten is also reprimanding Michigan for failing to “provide adequate protection for personnel of both home and visiting teams when entering and leaving playing arenas,” per conference policy.

“The Big Ten Conference has a standard of excellence both academically and athletically that has been built over 127 years,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, who attended the game a month ago and has a son, Powers Warren, who is a walk-on tight end for the Spartans. “Our standards require that our student-athletes, coaches and staff members represent the conference, and their member institutions, with the highest level of decorum and sportsmanship.

“We are taking disciplinary action and will continue to work with our member institutions to strengthen their game day procedures and ensure our honored traditions.”

The Big Ten said the suspensions that ended the season for seven other Michigan State players were sufficient. The conference also said the schools properly addressed a football staff member who violated the Big Ten’s sportsmanship policy in an incident unrelated to the tunnel altercations.

Last Wednesday, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office charged seven Michigan State football players for their actions Oct. 29 following the game at Michigan Stadium.

The most serious charge is against Crump, who faces one count of felonious assault, and the other six players are charged with misdemeanors. Crump in one video appears to swing his helmet at a Michigan player. That could account for the more serious charge, which carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison. State law describes felonious assault as an attack “using knife, iron bar, club, brass knuckles or other dangerous weapon without intending to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm.”

Linebacker Itayvion “Tank” Brown, safety Angelo Grose, cornerback Justin White, defensive end Brandon Wright and defensive end Zion Young are each charged with one count of aggravated assault while linebacker Jacoby Windmon faces one count of assault and battery.

Those six players were reinstated to the football program, athletic director Alan Haller and coach Mel Tucker announced.

“We accept the findings from the Big Ten conference and we are ready to move forward as a football program,” the joint statement read. “We are committed to supporting our student-athletes and will continue to do so throughout this process.”

A conviction for a misdemeanor count of assault carries a prison term of up to one year, while misdemeanor assault and battery carries a maximum sentence of 93 days behind bars.

“Our institution does not excuse the concerning actions by some of our student-athletes,” Michigan State Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff said in a statement. “At the same time, we challenge ourselves collectively to be thoughtful in how we approach this situation so that further harm isn’t needlessly done.

“What seems to be missing from the disciplinary outcomes are the learning opportunities that can and should coexist with findings of fault. We must ask ourselves: Are we doing enough, as leaders, to help further safety within our competitions through meaningful actions and education? Or are we risking the opportunities and livelihoods of young people without creating change for success in the future?”

Spartans cornerback Malcolm Jones, one of the suspended players, is not facing charges, nor are any players from Michigan.

Following the Wolverines’ 29-7 win over their in-state rivals, social media posts showed Michigan State players roughing up Michigan’s Ja'Den McBurrows in and near a hallway that doesn’t lead to either locker room. Brown, Grose and Young are clearly seen on video getting physical with McBurrows.

McBurrows skipped into the tunnel after the game and defensive back Gemon Green walked up it alongside Spartans while much of Michigan’s team was waving the Spartans off the field.

Green, in another post, is seen surrounded by police while shouting across the tunnel at Michigan State players.

The prosecutor’s office did not provide detail on the allegations, including who is accused of hitting whom. It was not clear when the charged players will make initial appearances in court.

No. 2 Michigan secured the Big Ten East Division title by beating rival Ohio State, and is preparing to face unranked Purdue in the conference championship game. A win would give the Wolverines a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Michigan State won five games under Tucker, who helped them go 11-2 last season with a second straight win over the Wolverines.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel said the Big Ten’s reprimand was related to a fan touching Tucker as he walked into the tunnel, actions he said were “wholly unacceptable.”

“The offender was quickly identified and swiftly ejected,” Manuel said.

The conference did not immediately respond to confirm whether Michigan’s reprimand was unrelated to the altercations in the tunnel involving players.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.