Mark Dantonio issued a statement Tuesday about a university investigation into an alleged sexual assault involving three unnamed Michigan State players and one staff member. It’s the first time Dantonio has commented publicly on the investigation, which is on-going.
The Spartans head coach said “the allegations are something we’re extremely concerned about and taking very seriously.” Dantonio also noted he would answer questions about his team and the program when “the time is appropriate.”
Dantonio, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis and Michigan State spokesperson Jason Cody all issued statements on the investigation. They can be found here.
Here’s Dantonio’s full statement:
“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.
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.”
His statement comes three days after the Spartans opened spring practice, and it’s the first time Dantonio has spoken publicly since National Signing Day on Feb. 1. As of Tuesday, Michigan State has not released any photos or videos from any spring practices.
In addition to the investigation, the Spartans had a locker-room shakeup last week when linebacker Jon Reschke announced he was leaving the team after making an “insensitive comment” about a former teammate.