Michigan State duo won't start Wednesday

After pre-game scuffle

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Michigan State forwards Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne were involved in a scuffle at a hotel before Wednesday night’s game that led to police responding to the altercation.

Spartans coach Tom Izzo said in a statement that the scuffle started with the off-campus roommates needling each other and led to a dented wall. He said the team would “deal with this appropriately,” and that Dawson and Payne will pay for any property damage.

Izzo said neither player would start when the No. 18 Spartans meet Penn State. Dawson (10.5 points) has started all 17 games this year. Payne (8.5 points) has started six, but has come off the bench recently.

“I’ve spent my entire afternoon meeting with the players involved and they are both sincerely remorseful,” Izzo said.

Penn State authorities have not named the players. Police Chief Tyrone Parham said officers responded Wednesday morning to a call from front desk staff at the Nittany Lion Inn of a report of an altercation on the second floor of the campus hotel, but Michigan State players had just boarded the bus for the Jordan Center by the time officers had arrived.

Players were questioned off the bus. Parham said what started as a verbal argument escalated into punches being exchanged.

Both players had minor cuts and declined medical attention. Parham said the incident remains under investigation and that both players were being considered victims.

Michigan State (14-3, 3-1 Big Ten) has won three straight entering the game against the Nittany Lions (8-8, 0-4).

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