Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett is not happy with fans harassing Michigan punter Blake O’Neill following a heartbreaking loss to Michigan State after O’Neill fumbled away a snap.
The letter comes after alleged fans suggested that O’Neill should die on Twitter and other social media outlets.
Hackett penned the following open letter for Michigan fans everywhere following the loss:
Dear Michigan family,
This Saturday’s game continued to prove the progress that we are making in our football program.
This isn’t only the way I feel the morning after a sudden change of euphoria took us to a heartbreaking loss. I know that many feel this – we are proud of our kids.
I know that all of our friends believe in what they saw for nearly 60 minutes of that game. This team left nothing on the field but its best effort.
The quality of Michigan football filled the chilled air.
Today I awake to the shocking reality that our community who care so much about this program would send hurtful, spiteful and vicious comments to one of our students. To be clear, such comments come from a small minority, none of whom are reflective of our institution.
The program I know at MICHIGAN speaks about the team, the team the team. The people I have been associated with my whole life around this fantastic program – some whom are living and some whom have passed on – would never, I repeat never, spread blame.
As our head coach said yesterday, “…this outcome will steel our spine.”
That means all of us.
I’m asking that our community not lose this game twice by condoning thoughtless comments and remember the Fielding Yost comment that this is the “Michigan of ours.”
Hackett wasn’t the only person defending O’Neill following the fumbled punt. ESPN host Joe Tessitore used his platform on ESPN to lambast people on social media who urged O’Neill to kill himself saying it was evidence of people “teetering on total civility failure.”
O’Neill, who earlier in the game had an 80 yard punt — the longest this season in Division I — has not publicly responded to any comments regarding the loss to Michigan State. (RELATED: The Ending To The Michigan/Michigan State Game Is Absolutely STUNNING)
The crazy ending to the game wasn’t the only wild thing that happened following Michigan State’s victory. Jalen Watts-Jackson, the man responsible for the game winning touchdown, broke his hip during the touchdown celebration.
Jalen Watts-Jackson broke his hip on game winning scoop and score for Michigan State
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) October 17, 2015
Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio said Jalen Watts-Jackson had surgery this morning. He fractured his hip on the tackle in end zone — Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) October 18, 2015
A fan at the game also suffered a heart attack following the improbable touchdown.
A fan at Michigan Stadium had a heart attack on the final play of the game. Currently in stable condition at University Hospital.
— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) October 18, 2015
Fan who had the heart attack was sitting in opposite corner of the end zone where Watts-Jackson scored. Someone nearby performed CPR. — Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) October 18, 2015
This game between Michigan and Michigan State will absolutely go down as one of the craziest games in the history of college football. Follow David on Twitter