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Michigan, MSU ADs issue combined statement on fan behavior ahead of game

Warde Manuel and Bill Beekman want to make sure everyone acts in a civil manner this weekend.

Michigan v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans meet on Saturday to renew one of the pettiest and most intense rivalries in college sports, which tends to bring out a lot of nonsense from both fanbases.

Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel and Michigan State athletic director Bill Beekman released a joint statement on Thursday afternoon encouraging decorum for both Wolverines and Spartans faithful ahead of Saturday’s contest with the nation set to be tuned in to what takes place.

Here is what was put out by both athletic departments on Thursday:

To the fans, families, and friends of our two great universities,

On Saturday, November 16, at noon, our two programs will meet for the 112th playing of one of college football’s great rivalries.

As with every playing, both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University wish to emerge victoriously and to care for the coveted Paul Bunyan Trophy for the next year. Not limited to a single sport or single day, our friendly rivalry is showcased among households, offices, businesses, and classrooms across the country.

And on Saturday, before and immediately following a football game in which our your people strive valiantly in the arena of competition, let us all take care to keep the game in perspective.

Our institutions maintain high expectations of our students, staff, and community members and are committed to representing our sides with class and shared respect.

On behalf of both institutions, we invite fans far and wide to join our respective student-athletes in the joy of competition and sportsmanship amid this great tradition.


Warde Manuel and Bill Beekman

We will see how well the fans take to this advice, as well as the coaches and players on the field when Saturday rolls around. The game between the Wolverines and Spartans from Michigan Stadium kicks off at 12 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally via FOX.