EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State athletics director Mark Hollis has assigned three staff members to oversight roles within the football program, he announced Tuesday.
Elliott Daniels, Alan Haller and Jennifer Smith will take on expanded roles within the athletic department, Hollis said. They will participate in team meetings and meet with players to monitor how time is spent off the field.
The move comes in response to the filing of criminal sexual-conduct charges Tuesday against former Michigan State players Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance. Another player, Auston Robertson, was charged with criminal sexual conduct in April in a separate case. All four players were removed from the program within hours of charges.
Daniels is in his 10th year working within Michigan State’s Student-Athlete Support Services department, currently as director of learning and retention. Haller, a former Spartans football player, and Smith are senior associate athletic directors. Smith also is Michigan State’s compliance director.
“I think our entire department needs it,” Hollis said of the move. “The reason I went with football is obviously these issues bring about attention, but there are so many things changing with NCAA legislation relative to the role of student-athletes, but also in society. Our society is changing at a pace that’s much quicker than any of us that are here right now. We need to be much more savvy and be able to be responsive to those changes.
“It’s a combination of restriction on time, being able to better understand what they’re doing with their time, understanding what they’re doing with the money they receive while they’re on campus, talking with them about their lives. Those conversations take a long time.”
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said that there have been “numerous amounts of education thrown at our players” once they arrive on campus. He added that “we had our Title IX administrator come in and talk specifically about a case at another university in this country” one week before the January incident that allegedly involved King, Corley and Vance.
When asked about the staff members assigned to oversight roles, Dantonio said that he feels they will have a positive impact on monitoring his program.
“I think anytime you do anything, you’re trying to make yourself better, whether it’s us as a football program or us as an athletic department,” Dantonio said. “So anything that we can do to keep us on task or anything we can do to bounce things off different people, people to be in our team meetings and see what’s going on, I think is a positive. That’s how I would see it.”