Michigan State released a statement early Thursday morning that senior captain and All-Big Ten middle linebacker Max Bullough will stay home as his team travels to Pasadena, due to a “violation of team rules”.
Bullough recorded 76 tackles this season, 9.5 of which were for a losses
But his worth to this team goes much further than just his statistics. He was the undisputed leader of the nation’s top-ranked defense. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi referred to Bullough often as an extension of himself on the field.
Bullough is a third generation Spartan football player. His grandfather Henry was a starting guard for the 1952 National Championship team. The next season in 1953, he started again as Michigan State played in their first ever Rose Bowl, defeating UCLA 28-20. Following Henry, his father Shane and uncle Chuck played linebacker for the Spartans in the 1980’s.
Max added to the historic Bullough lineage.
He was a three year starter, two time All-Big Ten selection and was a third team All American this season. More than just that, he was the leader of this Spartan defense who paved the way to Michigan State’s first Rose Bowl since 1988.
Unfortunately, his story will end abruptly with a shocking press release that came out just after midnight.
Coach Mark Dantonio’s statement did not touch on what it was that Bullough did to warrant this harsh punishment.
Here is Dantonio’s full statement: “Max Bullough has been suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of team rules. It is extremely disappointing for all parties involved. We will stay focused and close ranks as we prepare for Stanford on January 1 in the Rose Bowl. Max will forever remain a Spartan and valued member in this team’s achievements.”
Bullough’s absence will be felt in what is sure to be a physical matchup against Stanford’s power running game.
Fifth year Senior Kyler Elsworth will most likely fill his void as the starting middle linebacker. Elsworth has 10 tackles this season, eight of which were on special teams.
Dan Tyler is the host of Spartan Red Zone for Impact Sports.
Photo: Michigan State Spartans