Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo released a statement Wednesday afternoon, confirming that players Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne were involved in an altercation with each other at the team hotel this morning.
"A scuffle that began as two players needling each other resulted in a dented wall," Izzo said in the statement. "We'll deal with this appropriately, and the players will willingly accept responsibility for paying for any property damage.
"I've spent my entire afternoon meeting with the players involved and they are both sincerely remorseful. What makes matters even more confusing is that they are off-campus roommates. As a result of their actions neither one will start tonight's game."
Michigan State planned to start Payne at power forward tonight for the first time since game seven at Miami on Nov. 28. Izzo planned to start Dawson at small forward for the first time since the Miami game. Now, both will sit for at least the opening minutes of tonight's game at Penn State (7 p.m.)
According to police chief Tyrone Parham in State College, Pa., the players exchanged punches briefly, and one shoved the other into a wall, causing damage to the wall. No arrests for charges have been filed.
Police were called to the scene by hotel staffers. Police questioned the players and witnesses.