BY MIKE KILLBREATH
CCN Executive Editor
EAST LANSING (CCN) — Michigan State University's football coach, Mark Dantonio, called it "B.S." but allegations leveled by the head coach of the arch rival Michigan Wolverines have led to a $10,000 fine to MSU by the Big 10 Conference's commissioner.
A statement released Wednesday by Commissioner Jim Delaney said as follows: "We are fortunate the series of events that occurred prior to the Michigan-Michigan State game did not escalate into a much more serious matter. While traditions hold great importance on our campuses, traditions do not supersede the values of good sportsmanship or the requirement for player safety. We expect more from our coaches, students and administrators and will continue to work with our institutions to prioritize good sportsmanship moving forward.”
Reprimands were also handed out to the University of Michigan, its head footballl coach (Jim Harbaugh) and UM linebacker David Bush for grinding his cleats into the Spartans logo in the center of the field. Bush's stunt came after he was closelined with two other UM players and an assistant coach when MSU's players locked arms and marched the length of the field in their traditional pre-game march before Saturday's game with the Wolverines in East Lansing.
Coach Harbaugh blasted Dantonio after the game, calling it "bush league" and alleging that Dantonio was 5 yards behind his players when the incident took place, "all smiles." Harbaugh alleged that MSU arrived to the field late but Dantonio called it "B.S." in his post-game comments. Harbaugh brought notes to his weekly press conference on Monday in Ann Arbor and read them to media members to prove that he had received communications about MSU's arrival time to the field.
MSU officials reacted a few hours later with a statement essentially saying Harbaugh's accusations were untrue and that prompted the UM coach to use his weekly radio show Monday night to "double down" on his criticisms of Dantonio and his MSU team.
Delaney's statement on Wedneday about Coach Dantonio's personal reprimand for his actions criticized the coach “for failing to take action to mitigate a foreseeable conflict from occurring.”
Harbaugh was given a reprimand without a fine for his comments blasting Dantonio at the post-game press conference and at his Monday media appearances in Ann Arbor.