Dantonio “Extremely Concerned” About Assault Allegations Against Players
Mark Dantonio has broken his silence over the allegations involving football players and a staffer in his program.
Dantonio, speaking for the first time since the allegations were made known to the public, released a statement through the University that reads as follows.
"With spring practice beginning last weekend and preparation for a new season underway, I feel it’s important to reinforce the core values and beliefs that have built and defined this program during my time at MSU.
Since arriving here 11 years ago, my passion has been to lead a program that fosters a culture of integrity, respect and accountability, both on and off the field. That will never change. I have high standards for the program and expect all of our players and staff to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values and principles of Michigan State University. Our goal is to develop young men of character who graduate and make a positive impact on society.
Regarding the ongoing investigations taking place within our program, the allegations are something we’re extremely concerned about and taking very seriously. We took immediate action by suspending those involved as soon as we were notified of the situation. Our action is separate from the ongoing criminal and administrative investigations. Those processes will determine if a crime has been committed and also if any university policy has been violated.
(Athletic director) Mark Hollis and the university administration have set forth expectations for this program that I fully support, and we have gone to great lengths to consistently educate all members of the football program on our standards of conduct. I expect all members of the football program to live up to those standards, and I’m doing everything necessary to help throughout this difficult process.
When the time is appropriate, I will be able to answer questions regarding our program and discuss our team. At this point in time, we have to respect the process of the investigations for everyone involved.”
As Dantonio says in the statement spring practice is underway for Michigan State football but you wouldn't know it from the lack of coverage. However, there has been no opportunity to cover the team thus far. Media members have been shut out from practices so far this year (first time this has happened under Dantonio) and Dantonio has not given his usual spring practice press conference, which he has done every year over the last decade.
Michigan State is currently undergoing three different types of investigations over these allegations involving the unnamed players and staffer. A criminal inquiry, a Title IX inquiry and an internal, school commissioned inquiry. It seems through this statement that answers will not be available via Dantonio while these investigations are ongoing.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that MSU offered no status update on any particular player and would not release a spring depth chart to the media or public.
It has been almost three weeks since the University announced the suspensions, and all investigations are still ongoing.