Nearly a year to the day, it happened again.
MSU's iconic statue, the Spartan, was found Monday morning--just days before the annual Green vs. White spring football game--with the words perhaps most anathema to Spartans spray-painted in blue on its base.
"Go Blue," the loathsome battle cry of the arch-rival Michigan Wolverines.
It happens from time to time, usually at least once per year. The most recent was on April 20, 2013--366 days ago.
That begs the question: Has vandalizing the Spartan statue become a 4/20 tradition for U-M fans?
Here's more on the campus icon from MSU:
"The Spartan" statue, designed and produced by MSU assistant art professor Leonard D. Jungwirth, has a permanent home inside the atrium of the Spartan Stadium tower. The 9-foot-7 ceramic figure weighs approximately 6,600 pounds, including its base. In 2005, the sculpture was relocated to protect it from the elements.
"The Spartan" was dedicated on June 9, 1945, at the intersection of Red Cedar Road, Kalamazoo Street and Chestnut Road. Popularly known as "Sparty," the statue remains one of the favorite photo subjects of campus visitors.
In 2005, an exact replica of the original terra cotta sculpture - now cast in bronze - took up residency on the plaza located at the north end of Demonstration Hall Field. The molds for the bronze statue were made from the original sculpture. The new statue was cast in bronze at the Artworks Foundry in Berkeley, Calif.
As part of MSU's sesquicentennial celebration, the bronze "Sparty" was dedicated on Oct. 8, 2005. Donors contributed approximately $500,000 to pay for all work related to the new sculpture, including the plaza.