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Michigan State suspends 4 players while police investigate ‘unacceptable’ scuffle after a Michigan-Michigan State football game

By Wayne Sterling and Holly Yan, CNN

Four Michigan State University football players have been suspended while school police investigate a scuffle in a stadium tunnel after the No. 4 University of Michigan Wolverines defeated the unranked Michigan State Spartans 29-7 on Saturday.

Michigan State Head Coach Mel Tucker announced in a statement that the players have been suspended from the team after “reviewing the disturbing electronic evidence” of the altercation. The suspensions will be in effect until investigations of the incident are complete, Tucker said.

A video posted on Twitter from The Detroit News showed several Spartan players in an altercation with a Wolverine player in the tunnel at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

Michigan football Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said two of his players were “assaulted,” and one of them may have a broken nose.

“I saw the one video, the 10 on one, it’s … pretty bad,” Harbaugh said.

“What happened after the game is completely unacceptable,” Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel said.

School police from both universities are jointly investigating the incident. In his statement on player suspensions, Tucker said Michigan State will continue to evaluate “additional student-athlete participation in the altercations and contributing factors.”

Michigan State Vice President and Athletics Director Alan Haller called the evidence “alarming,” adding that “the behavior we reviewed was both uncharacteristic of our football program and unacceptable.”

Manuel said he has spoken with Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, and “he is looking into it.”

“Police are also looking into it, and it’s because they’ve seen the video,” Manuel said. “We will leave it in their hands.”

CNN has reached out to the Big Ten for comment.

Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. apologized to Michigan, calling the incident “unacceptable behavior.”

“I’m extremely saddened by this incident and the unacceptable behavior depicted by members of our football program,” Stanley said in a statement.

“On behalf of Michigan State University, my heartfelt apology to the University of Michigan and the student athletes who were injured. There is no provocation that could justify the behavior we are seeing on the videos. Rivalries can be intense but should never be violent.”

Tucker addressed the scuffle on Twitter.

“As Spartans our program has a responsibility to uphold the highest level of sportsmanship,” Tucker tweeted Sunday.

“While emotions were very high at the conclusion of our rivalry game at Michigan Stadium, there is no excuse for behavior that puts our team or our opponents at risk.”

MSU’s president said “Coach Tucker will be holding the players involved responsible, and our football team and university will be cooperating with all related investigations by law enforcement and the Big Ten Conference.”

The two schools released a joint statement saying, “The University of Michigan Police, in partnership with Michigan State University Police, Michigan Athletics and Michigan football, is actively reviewing footage and investigating the postgame incident.”

“Situations like these, and the safety of the community, are taken very seriously,” the statement said.

The cross-state schools have had a storied rivalry for generations.

“But this is not how we should interact after a game,” said Manuel, Michigan’s athletic director. “It’s completely and utterly unacceptable. … This is not what a rivalry should be about.”

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