Former Grand Rapids Man Going to Prison For Ohio State Threat
Maybe it's just a sign of the times, but this story really makes you think, just how dangerous sports fanaticism can become. Sports Illustrated reports a University of Michigan fan is going to jail for a year and a day, after being convicted of threatening a mass shooting at Ohio State University.
Michigan Wolverine football fan Daniel Rippy, a 29-year old former Grand Rapids resident, living in California, was sentenced today after being jailed in January for threatening Ohio State players and former coach Urban Meyer, via Facebook Messenger, after the Michigan-Ohio State game in 2018, which the Buckeyes won 62-39.
The judge in the case, Algenon Marbley scolded Rippy today during sentencing, mentioning the mass shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Marbley said Rippy's act epitomized “fandom spiraled out of control...It’s college competition. That’s all it is.”
In addition to the threat against Ohio State, Government prosecutors revealed Rippy allegedly three days earlier had threatened Gonzaga University's basketball team for beating Duke's basketball team.
The Sports Illustrated story says Rippy sent multiple messages threatening violence Ohio State players, students and coaches. He later threatened Gonazaga players posting "“Yeah and when I get my hands on the players from the basketball team there going to die one by one”.
Rippy during sentencing apologized, saying he had "a bad day."
His public defender said Rippy's mental health issues coupled with other frustrations contributed to him making the threats. Rippy was a fast food worker in California, but the story says he "couldn't maintain a residence".