Michigan State University Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D., issued the following statement in response to the Washtenaw County prosecutor’s decision to issue criminal charges in the MSU vs. University of Michigan post-game tunnel incident:
“The university and our athletic department will continue to evaluate this matter and cooperate with any investigative reviews.
“While we do not condone the actions taken by some football players on Oct. 29, we will support our student-athletes through this process. They are students first, and their academic journey continues. MSU believes strongly in restorative justice practices and the education around harmful actions.
"I do not condone inappropriate behavior by anyone on our campus or when representing MSU. And consequences, which were announced today, are part of a learning environment. But I also believe that as universities, we must make our respective environments safe places for competition. The rivalry between our two schools predates the current presidents and will likely last long into the future. But student success is more important than any score and I am committed to working with the University of Michigan to enable that success on the field and in all of the places and spaces where rivalry foreshortens any students' pathway to that success. My commitment is to make changes that are meaningful to that goal and report back to the community before the end of the year.
"Michigan is a state of opportunity with great research universities and incredible faculty, staff, students, and athletic teams. Working, not as rivals but on behalf of our shared educational mission will enable a positive future for all."