MSU, UM officials release joint statement on football game rivalry
Michigan State and the University of Michigan released a statement Thursday about Saturday’s football game in Ann Arbor that appears to stress the importance of civility.
It’s a joint statement from MSU Athletic Director Bill Beekman and Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel addressed to “the fans, families, and friends of our two great universities.”
The statement, posted on Michigan Athletics Twitter page, about the 112th gridiron meeting between the in-state rivals reads as follows:
“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 on a 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 young 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.”
Saturday’s game at Michigan Stadium kicks off at noon and will be broadcast on FOX.
The No. 15 ranked Wolverines (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) lead the series 70-36-5, including a 49-22-3 record at home. But the unranked Spartans (4-5, 2-4) have won the last two meetings in Ann Arbor.
MSU coach Mark Dantonio is 8-4 during his tenure against Michigan, including a 4-1 record at Michigan Stadium.