EAST LANSING, Mich. — An external investigation into Michigan State’s response to two allegations of sexual assault involving four football players found that a football staff member violated the university’s Relationship Violence & Sexual Misconduct (RVSM) policy.
The staff member was suspended as a result. Michigan State confirmed to MLive’s Kyle Austin that the staff member in question is director of college advancement and performance Curtis Blackwell, whose contract was not renewed on May 31.
The Jones Day report, issued Monday, also found no wrongdoing from Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, and contrasted his response to the allegations with that of the unnamed staff member, who declined an interview with investigators.
“With respect to the staff member who declined to participate in the investigation, the evidence available strongly suggests that he did violate MSU’s RVSM Policy and its related protocols,” the report states. “The staff member learned information about the January 2017 incident from the same player who made a report to Dantonio. Unlike Dantonio, however, this staff member spoke with the three players who were involved to determine what happened and spoke with a family member of one of the players regarding the incident.”
Jones Day was hired as the result of sexual assault allegations involving an incident with three players in January 2017. It was later expanded to include a second allegation involving a fourth player.
“In both instances, we found that senior leaders within the football program and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics [Athletic Department] complied with the RVSM policy by promptly and accurately reporting the information they learned about the underlying incidents to departments within the University that are tasked with investigating and responding to such incidents,” the report states.
Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon said Monday that she has decided to authorize sexual assault charges against the three players involved in the first allegation. Siemon declined to issue charges against Blackwell.
The full Jones Day report can be read here.