An attorney representing a Michigan State football player involved in the tunnel melee following Michigan’s 29-7 victory last month said the incident was started by a Michigan football player.
David Diamond, a Los Angeles-based lawyer who graduated from Michigan State, released a statement claiming the altercation was started by a Wolverines player who “engaged with Spartan athletes with his helmet and a swinging punch.”
“We have learned that the U-M player started the altercation,” Diamond said in the statement sent to the Detroit Free Press, part of the USA TODAY Network. “Eyewitnesses have described it as charging with his helmet and throwing a punch … the justice system is designed for impartiality.”
The statement did not name which MSU player has hired Diamond. A message for Diamond was not immediately returned.
Michigan State suspended four players the day after the incident — Itayvion “Tank” Brown, Khary Crump, Angelo Grose and Zion Young — and on Tuesday suspended four more players — Jacoby Windmon, Brandon Wright, Justin White and Malcolm Jones — indefinitely until the investigation is complete.
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The two Michigan players seen on social media videos involved were defensive backs Gemon Green and Ja’Den McBurrows.
“While we acknowledge wrongdoing by all parties, this is not an incident that warrants criminal charges being filed,” Diamond’s statement said. “We have seen similar behavior and even worse on the gridiron and suddenly because it happens in a tunnel, known for incompetent security and poor post-game management, there are calls for criminal charges.
“My client is a young man who responded to the situation before him.”
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh opened his media availability Oct. 31 with a lengthy statement and said he expects criminal charges to take place after what called an “egregious, sickening” incident.
It was announced later that day that Green had hired an attorney, Tom Mars, to represent him in the matter.
“There needs to be accountability, there needs to be a full, thorough, timely investigation,” Harbaugh said. “I can’t imagine that this will not result in criminal charges, the videos are bad. It’s clear what transpired, it seems very open and shut as they say.”
Multiple social media videos, along with ABC’s camera in the tunnel, appear to show several Michigan State players hitting and kicking the two defensive backs, separately. One video shows what appears to be a helmet being swung at Green.
Mars confirmed that Green was hit with a helmet and suffered a concussion from the incident.
During his weekly news conference Monday, Harbaugh said “we’d probably hear something this week” regarding any conclusions or punishment from the Big Ten.
Story Credit: usatoday.com