Michigan has outperformed MSU (in more ways than one) but still has room for growth
“Attitude reflects leadership”
This line from Remember the Titans is adequate narrative for the behavior exhibited by several members of Michigan State’s football program after falling to Michigan on Saturday, July 29-7. Four Spartan players have been banned for participating in the tunnel attack on Michigan defenders Ja’Den McBurrows and Gemon Green, and more penalties are likely to follow an additional film rating. There could also be legal ramifications for the most egregious actors, but none of the accountability measures should detract from scrutiny of a culture that seemed to have been an incubator for irritation rather than perspective.
If a single player steps out of line, it doesn’t fall on the coach. But if several players do it, particularly violently, then that Absolutely reflects the coach. Any talk about Michigan’s tunnel policies and procedures is a distraction. The question of why McBurrows and Green walked through the tunnel after the win is even bigger. Win or lose, whether the gossip is sharp or minimal, whether your opponent shows you off or shows you mercy, post-game reactions should be the same. “See you next year.” Does the fact that Michigan fulfilled JJ McCarthy’s pregame promise to “keep our foot on the gas no matter what the score” make that even more difficult? Absolutely. But then a program with an insatiable appetite for chips is supposed to take the Frito Lay factory it was just gifted and use it as fuel for the next matchup.
Of course, not every player arrives with this perspective. It’s up to the coach to teach it. Tucker clearly didn’t do this, at least not until Saturday. Checking the tone he sets will help ensure he does as he progresses.
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