Former Michigan Star Talks Stadium Tunnel Controversy

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A former Michigan football star recognizes there are some issues with the stadium’s tunnel. But Jake Butt doesn’t see this as a major problem, even after last Saturday’s incident with Michigan State.

Butt, who played tight end for the Wolverines from 2013 – 2016, addressed the tunnel on Monday. He did so during an appearance on “The Number One College Football Show.” This was a hot topic with Butt and plenty of others following video of Michigan State players beating down on a Wolverine in the stadium’s tunnel last weekend.

“These moments happen, and is it a problem what happened with Penn State? Absolutely. Is it a problem what happened after Michigan State? Absolutely, those are problems.”

The first part of Butt’s statement was referencing Penn State coach James Franklin suggesting last month that “one tunnel is a problem.” Franklin, who’s players were scuffling in the tunnel with Michigan players at halftime, later added: “It’s a problem, and has been,” before suggesting the conference step in.

Jake Butt played tight end for Michigan (Photo by Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Michigan Stadium Is Nicknamed “The Big House”

The issue that Franklin and many others have with Michigan’s tunnel is that it’s singular. Unlike the majority of stadiums, both Michigan and their opponent share the same tunnel when walking towards and from the field.

Michigan Stadium, which was built in 1927 and houses more than 110, 000, has been this way since its inception. And it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

As Butt sees it, the problems are few and far between.

“It’s also true that it’s not generally a problem to the point where you need to panic and make any emotional decision here,” Butt said. “You know, 99 percent of the time there’s nothing.”

More than 110,000 fans were on hand at Michigan Stadium earlier this fall. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Butt Doesn’t Want Tunnel Changed

Jake Butt reiterated that the tunnel is rarely an issue and only recently became newsworthy because of the Penn State and Michigan State incidents. He would like to see the tunnel remain and Michigan Stadium to continue to house one entrance for both the visiting and home teams.

“The Big House has been The Big House for decades, a century,” Butt added. “To say that two instances are all of a sudden warranting a change, I don’t know that I’m ready to commit to that right now.”

Michigan will have another week and a half to think about the tunnel. After visiting Rutgers this weekend, the Wolverines won’t return home until a November 12th date with Nebraska.

Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF

Written by Anthony Farris

One Comment

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  1. “The Big House Tunnel” may be 100 years old …. BUT “sports culture” is evolving (“dissolving”) along with overall American society’s evolution.
    Remember, we are now a society that passively approved of large scale street riots just last year. So why not “street fights” in stadium tunnels. No one seems to care about daily shootings in Chicago … so who cares about college football players beating up each other in a stadium tunnel ??? PLUS … it’s “black on black” fights ….. yawn.

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