Maybe James Franklin had a point.
Days after Penn State and Michigan’s halftime skirmish in the Michigan Stadium tunnel, Franklin got a question in his weekly press conference about the incident and his reaction to it, both of which went viral.
Michigan and Penn State got into it after halftime.
Nothing like a lil tussle in the tunnel. pic.twitter.com/42VxGUrAzL
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 15, 2022
— The Winged Helmet (@TWH_Chris) October 17, 2022
Franklin didn’t get too specific about what happened, but he did give some input on how the incident could have been prevented.
“To me, we need to put a policy in place from a conference perspective,” Franklin said in his weekly Tuesday press conference days after the incident. “In my mind, that’s going to stop it. We’re not the first team to kind of get into a jawing match in the tunnel. For me, I want to focus on getting my team in their locker room and not jawing back and forth.”
Just two weeks after the incident, another one proved Franklin right.
Michigan and Michigan State got into it in the same tunnel, and this one was more serious than what happened between Michigan and Penn State.
Video posted by Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News showed Michigan State players punching and kicking Michigan defensive back Ja’Den McBurrows.
Footage of the scuffling pic.twitter.com/cipLWi5RBS
— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) October 30, 2022
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said after the game that two of his players were assaulted and one of them could have injured his nose.
”Just like anybody, you want to protect your players,” Harbaugh said. “Ten on one, whatever it was, it was just bad. It needs to be investigated and brought to a conclusion. Our athletic director will make sure that that takes place.”
Michigan athletic director Ward Manuel called the incident “completely and utterly unacceptable.”
“I’ve talked to (Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren), Manuel said. “He’s looking into it. The police are also looking into it, because they’ve seen the video and they’re addressing it. We will leave it in their hands, but this is not how we should interact after a game.”
Franklin and Harbaugh are likely united on this one.
They weren’t on the last incident
Last week, Harbaugh ripped Franklin and Penn State.
“I’ve really got bigger fish to fry than Coach Franklin’s opinion on the halftime tunnel (incident) from a game ago,” Harbaugh said in his weekly press conference last Monday. “All they have to do is walk into their locker room. You saw pretty clearly that they completely stopped; they weren’t letting us get up the tunnel. It just seemed like such a sophomoric ploy to keep us out of our locker room. He looked like he was the ringleader of the whole thing. But no, I’ve got bigger fish to fry than worrying about that kind of whining.”