Michigan State resumes athletics this weekend after shooting

The two rivals will meet for the second time at 8 p.m. Saturday at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor as scheduled. The game comes five days after a campus shooting in East Lansing in which three students were killed and five others were injured.

After the initial release, MSU also canceled two women’s tennis matches scheduled for the weekend, Friday at home against Marshall and Sunday at Columbia in New York.

The Drake match was one of three athletic events postponed Wednesday in the wake of the Monday’s shooting, along with the MSU-Minnesota game and a women’s basketball game at Purdue. A women’s gymnastics road meet at Illinois scheduled for Friday also was postponed.

“The safety and physical and mental well-being of our students and staff is the primary focus of Michigan State athletics,” MSU athletic director Alan Haller said in a statement. “In consultation with mental health professionals and in conversations with our student-athletes it became apparent that a return to practice and competition is a crucial part of their recovery. Student-athletes were given an active voice in the decision to return to competition, as well as the autonomy to make their own individual choices about participation.

“Athletics can be a rallying point for a community in need of healing, a fact many of our student-athletes have mentioned to me. The opportunity to represent our entire community has never felt greater. I also recognize that everyone grieves in their own unique manner, and there are some who aren’t ready to return to athletic events. Those feelings are incredibly valid, and as Coach (Tom) Izzo so eloquently stated last night, I hope that we will all focus on taking care of one another.”

While MSU interim president Teresa Woodruff canceled all classes until Monday, a number of Spartan athletes will get back to their normal competition routines starting Friday — many of them away from campus:

Hockey: At Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin (9 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday)

Women’s basketball: Maryland at Breslin Center in East Lansing (3 p.m. Saturday)

Wrestling: At Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant (7 p.m. Friday)

Baseball: Season-opening weekend in Phoenix, Arizona (6 p.m. Friday vs. Michigan; 3 p.m. Sunday vs. Fresno State; 8 p.m. Sunday vs. Arizona)

Softball: At Elon Phoenix Invitational in Elon, North Carolina (2:30 p.m. Friday vs. Elon; 5 p.m. Saturday vs. Saint Francis; Sunday,)

Men’s tennis: Drake at MSU Indoor Tennis Facility in Lansing (10 a.m. Saturday).

Track and field: At Silverston Invitational hosted by Michigan in Ann Arbor (4 p.m. Friday); At Alex Wilson Invitational hosted by Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana (10:30 a.m. Saturday)

Women’s golf: At Moon Golf Invitational in Melbourne, Florida (Sunday-Tuesday)

Contact Chris Solari: csolari@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY