Michigan fan Daniel Rippy was sentenced Tuesday to one year and one day in prison for using Facebook Messenger in 2018 to threaten a mass shooting targeting Buckeyes football players and former OSU head coach Urban Meyer during the annual rivalry game at Ohio State.
According to Andrew Welsh-Huggins of the Associated Press, Ohio federal Judge Algenon Marbley said Rippy's actions represented "fandom spiraled out of control" that couldn't be ignored in an age in which mass shootings at U.S. schools are not uncommon.
Rippy, a 29-year-old Michigan native who lives in California, said he was having a "bad day" when he made the threat and apologized for his actions several times, according to Welsh-Huggins.
"I really didn't mean for any of this," he said. "I feel really bad about it. I would never, ever do any act like this."
Soumyajit Dutta, Rippy's attorney, said at the sentencing his client deals with mental health issues and needed "resources for both mental health treatment and for an ability for him to get back on his feet."
Judge Marbley agreed, saying "some type of psychological or psychic imbalance may have animated this kind of behavior," but pointed toward shootings at Columbine High School in 1999 and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 as reasons why threats couldn't be ignored, per Welsh-Huggins.
"It's college competition. That's all it is," Marbley said in reference to the football rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State.
Rippy was arrested for the threats in January and will receive credit for the 10 months he's already served in jail. Dutta confirmed he'll move to a transitional housing center back in California after completing the 366-day sentence in Ohio.
Court documents showed Rippy also made threats against the Gonzaga men's basketball team after a November 2018 win over Duke, another team he supports, according to Welsh-Huggins.
"Rippy's anger and frustration at the loss of his sports teams went beyond the usual shouting at the television as the clock ticks down the final seconds that many of us experience," assistant U.S. attorney Jessica Knight said in the court filing.
Ohio State defeated Michigan 62-39 in the November 2018 meeting.