U-M and MSU Square Off in a Different Kind of Competition

U-M and MSU Square Off in a Different Kind of Competition

Did you watch the Michigan and Michigan State football game last Saturday?

There wasn’t a Michigan fan anywhere who wasn’t shocked at last weekend’s game against Michigan State. Everyone believed that the University of Michigan would finally be taking home the coveted Paul Bunyan Trophy this year. Unfortunately or fortunately – depending on where your allegiance is, they didn’t.

In the last 10 seconds, a mishandled punt ended the hopes of the coveted trophy for the Wolverines. ESPN reported that Michigan State’s Watts-Jackson caught the fumbled ball and ran it 38 yards to win the game. For the 7th year in a row, Michigan State will take home the Paul Bunyan Trophy.

The rivalry between to two Big 10 schools in Michigan has been a long, hard-fought battle. For some time, the only way to ally these two superpower schools was a game against the scarlet and gray school down south.

An Uncommon Rivalry

However, there was another way that these two acclaimed schools came together under a common cause and honor their rivalry.

According to an article post in the Detroit Free Press, these two schools competed for an honorable cause.

Detroit’s Untested Rape Kits

If you are unfamiliar with Detroit’s untested rape kits, almost 12,000 untested rape kits were discovered back in 2009 in an abandoned Detroit police storage unit. These untested rape kits dated back 30 years. In the next 5 years to follow, only 2,000 of those kits would be tested.

In the article I wrote back in August, Detroit Clears Most Untested Rape Kits – Works to Prevent Another Backlog, I shared that the reason this was allowed it happen was the lack of funding, resources, and police attitudes towards victims.

Since that article was published, there have already been 20 convictions, 114 cases being actively investigated, and 732 case were waiting to be investigated.

The Detroit Free Press reported that,

“When more than 10,000 rape kits were tested, 2,616 corresponded to DNA listed in CODIS, the national or Combined DNA Index System. Of those matches in this national crime database, authorities identified 549 suspected serial rapists.”

The Free Press also wrote that one-fifth of the victims were under the age of 16 and more than 80% were African Americans.

Funding Issues

One of the reasons these rape kits went untested was lack of funding. Kym Worthy, a Wayne County Prosecutor, vowed back in February to raise the money to test these kits, and now she is seeking funding to prosecute.

Blue Vs. Green

Here is where the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans came together in a rivalry that will make a difference in our world. The schools were challenged to raise money to have the rape kits tested. According to the Detroit Free Press, the competition raised $30,577.50. Here are the final tallies:

  • Team MSU: $11,181
  • Team Michigan: $14,931
  • Neutral: $4,465.50

The University of Michigan may have lost the Paul Bunyan Trophy, but they did win the race to raise more money for a worthy cause. The competition brought in much more than the original $20,000 goal. The real winners in this uncommon rivalry will be the women connected to those rape kits.

Your Turn

What do you think about this uncommon rivalry?