A short time ago the Big Ten Conference announced official action in response to the pre-game confrontation between Michigan and Michigan State this past Saturday in Spartan Stadium.
The Big Ten determined that Michigan State violated the policy when its football team walked across the field with linked arms and initiated contact with multiple members of Michigan’s team who were legitimately on the field during pregame warmups. Consequently, the Michigan State football team is reprimanded and the institution has been fined $10,000 as a result of the violation.
Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio is also reprimanded for failing to take action to mitigate a foreseeable conflict from occurring.
Michigan’s Devin Bush is reprimanded for his conduct.
Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh is reprimanded for his comments made about the incident and opponent during his media availability on both Saturday and Monday.
What these penalties indicate to me is the conference views fault for the confrontation as lying with Michigan State. For instance, the conference’s statement says that Michigan’s players were “legitimately” on the field, that Michigan State is reprimanded and fined for the incident, and that Mark Dantonio is reprimanded for failing to take action to prevent the incident.
Notably, Michigan and Jim Harbaugh were not fined by the conference and their reprimands arise from conduct mostly after the incident occurred. For instance, Harbaugh is reprimanded for his comments to the media about the incident on Saturday and Monday.
In the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t mean a whole lot. $10,000 is not a significant sum of money to a football program like Michigan State and reprimands are just condemnations from the conference.
Perhaps indicating that the conference would really like this all to just go away at this point, the conference’s statement also said:
The Big Ten Conference considers this matter concluded and will have no further comment.