Part of ESPN’s bombshell report about Michigan State’s athletic department featured a story about how Mark Dantonio allegedly handled one sexual-assault accusation against a Spartans football player by having him tell his mother about the incident.
Former Michigan State sexual-assault counselor Lauren Allswede detailed the story to ESPN’s Outside the Lines. It was one of many examples in the lengthy report that showed how Michigan State’s athletic department mishandled allegations of sexual abuse and violence in its programs.
Allswede told Outside the Lines that about seven years ago, an attorney from the university’s general counsel’s department came to her office to try to reassure her that coaches were taking allegations of sexual violence seriously. Allswede says the attorney told her how Dantonio, the football coach, had dealt with a sexual assault accusation against one of his players: He had the player talk to his mother about what he had done.
“That did not reassure me at all,” Allswede says. “There’s no guarantee that that had any effect, any help, whatever.”
Allswede left her role at Michigan State in 2015 because of frustrations about how the school handled allegations, according to the report.
“Any accusations of my handling of any complaints of sexual assault individually are completely false,” he said
The ESPN report ― which noted at least 16 Spartans football players have been accused of sexual assault or violence against women since Dantonio took over as coach in 2007 ― was published just hours after Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis stepped down from his role as athletic director.