Harbaugh On Tunnel Clash: ‘An Apology Will NOT Get The Job Done’
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and MSU coach Mel Tucker gave press conferences early Monday afternoon about the fight that took place in the locker room tunnel following Saturday's game.
Coach Harbaugh Says Investigation Is Underway, Apology Not Enough
Coach Jim Harbaugh, at his weekly Monday press conference following Michigan's 29-7 win over rival Michigan State Saturday night in Ann Arbor, addressed the incident between MSU and two UM players in the tunnel leading to the locker room.
Two Michigan players were injured in the melee, and at least four MSU players have been suspended for their involvement.
In his opening statement before taking questions from the press, Harbaugh said, "an apology will not get the job done," when it comes to the altercation. "There should be serious consequences."
"The (videos of the incident) were sickening to watch. There needs to be accountability. There needs to be a full, thorough and timely investigation," Harbaugh added. "I can't imagine that this will not result in criminal charges."
Harbaugh could not be specific about the injuries the two Michigan players suffered in the attack.
Harbaugh Makes It Clear: The Tunnel Is Not The Problem
"The tunnel has been there for years," Harbaugh reiterated. "There is a procedure in place, and it was followed."
Harbaugh made it clear that the perpetrators alone are responsible for their actions, and nothing should be factored in. He ruled out the emotion of the rivalry, the coaching style of MSU's Mel Tucker, or anything else BUT those who decided to escalate the fighting.
MSU Coach Mel Tucker Also Weighs In On Incident
In his weekly presser, Tucker said he alone suspended the four players involved in the violence. He said the players will be barred from team activities. He added the team is fully cooperating with the investigation.
"We're not here to make any excuses for their behavior Saturday," Tucker told the reporters. "We honor the traditions to the rivalry and to uphold the honor of the University. We are deeply sorry."
He didn't comment any further out of respect to the investigation, other than to say he didn't think the team culture caused the alleged assault.
Tucker, who appeared to have slapped away the hand of a fan reaching down toward him while he was walking into the tunnel, called that event 'alarming' but refused to add anything beyond that.
He also understands that he bears some responsibility for the actions of his players. The tone of both coaches can best be described as sad and very subdued.
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