The Spartan statue at Michigan State University is no newcomer to vandalism.

This was the scene Thursday morning:

Yes, it appears some Wolverines got to the statue, again. Under the cover of darkness (of course). Again.

Michigan fans have chosen the offseason as their time of attack on the Spartan statue in recent years. That's because the MSU campus is on heightened alert, standing vigilant against would-be vandals during the football season. And each fall, members of the Spartan Marching Band take turns protecting the Spartan statue during the week leading up to the Spartans' football against Michigan--a tradition that has become known as Sparty Watch."

The statue at the corner of Kalamazoo Street and Chestnut Road is a 10-foot-6, mounted on a 5-foot-4 base. It weighs three tons, and its current incarnation has stood since 2005. The original statue, which was made of terra cotta, was erected in 1945 but had to be replaced after 60 years of weathering. The original now stands inside the main entrance to Spartan Stadium.