In February In 2020, Mark Dantonio – by far the winningest football coach in Michigan State history – retired. The stress of managing 120 studentsAthletes wore it every year, Dantonio said. He wanted to make his life easier, so he retired from football and East Lansing.
What was harder to ignore, however, were the reports that Dantonio had denied allegations of sexual misconduct against his players. A Out of bounds Investigation Just days before Dantonio’s retirement announcement, it was reported that Dantonio had not been particularly diligent in handling allegations of sexual assault against his players and had made confusing comments to the media about his past handling of such allegations:
Since Dantonio’s tenure began in 2007, at least 16 MSU football players have been accused of sexual assault or violence against women, according to interviews and public records Out of bounds. In addition, Dantonio is said to have been involved in handling disciplinary action in at least one of the cases several years ago. As recently as June, Dantonio faced a throng of reporters asking questions about four of his football players who had been accused of sexual assault. Six questions later, a reporter asked Dantonio how he had previously handled such allegations.
“This is new territory for us,” Dantonio replied. “We’ve been here 11 years – this has never happened before.”
Worse, Dantonio’s handling of the sexual assault allegations against his players appeared to be evidence of someone with little to no understanding of the dynamics of sexual assault. OTL reported that in a case in which an MSU football player was accused of sexual assault, Dantonio took possession of the player talk to his mother about what he had done.
It is impossible to interpret Dantonio’s decision to retire as a complete breakaway from the scrutiny that MSU was going through at the time, due in large part to the administration’s handling of the Larry Nassar scandal was attributable. In fact, Dantonio condemned just over a week before he announced his resignation OTL Report, saying that all reports that he handled sexual assault complaints individually were false, that he would not resign. What happened during that statement and Dantonio’s decision to withdraw just over a week later? It’s impossible to say, but it’s notable that media coverage of MSU’s handling of allegations of sexual misconduct – and by extension Dantonio’s – continued to increase during this time.
How then is a coach who retired amid a report about his alleged mishandling of sexual assault allegations the person MSU is bringing back after the suspension of head football coach Mel Tucker over sexual harassment allegations? Late yesterday, after USA Today reported that Tucker had harassed sexual assault prevention advocate Brenda Tracy, MSU athletic director Alan Haller announced that Tucker would be suspended without pay, secondary coach Harlon Barnett would be the team’s interim coach and Dantonio would act as a coach special assistant.
If you had any doubts about whether MSU “gets it” when it comes to proper processing of Title IX complaints or transparency as a government institution, it doesn’t. Although Tracy filed her Title IX complaint against Tucker in December, the school took no apparent action against Tucker until USA Today broke the story Saturday night. Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic reported that Haller told the media that “interim measures” had been taken, but that these “interim measures” appeared to be limited to Tucker not having contact with Tracy and Haller “increasing control of the program.” But unless MSU administrators monitored Tucker 24 hours a day, including when he was not at the university and conducting his electronic communications, it is hard to imagine that this would constitute a sufficient response. The decision that the answer to another public sexual misconduct scandal at MSU is more likely to be Mark Dantonio is further evidence that no one at MSU has a clue what they are doing when it comes to dealing with Title IX -Complaints go.
Deadspin has reached out to Michigan State Athletics and AD Alan Haller for comment. At the time of publication we had not received a response.
MSU football fans will undoubtedly cheer Dantonio’s return to football in East Lansing, where he remains a popular figure. But for those who are concerned about sexual violence against women and the university Due to repeated failures to cope, Dantonio’s return appears to be a sign of a government that continues to go in circles.
https://deadspin.com/michigan-state-thinks-the-answer-to-another-public-sexu-1850825978 Michigan State expects Mark Dantonio to resolve his sexual misconduct issues