2711770, Dantonio steps down at MSU (swipe)|
Posted by C. Thelonius, Tue Feb-04-20 06:12 PM
Damn this shit caught me by surprise.
Mark Dantonio steps down as coach at Michigan State
Michigan State's Mark Dantonio announced Tuesday that he's stepping down from his role as the Spartans' head coach.
Dantonio coached Michigan State for 13 seasons, leading the program to three Big Ten championships, a Rose Bowl victory and a College Football Playoff berth. He won more games than any coach in program history. His past few years have been marred by controversy.
"After much reflection and discussion with my family, I feel that it is now time for a change as we enter into a new decade of Michigan State Football," Dantonio, 63, said in a statement. "... I will miss it all but feel the sacrifices that I have made away from my family must now become my priority at this time in my life."
A news conference is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET.
Dantonio -- along with Michigan State's athletic director and university president -- said he expected to stay with the team at the conclusion of the 2019 football season. He collected a $4.3 million retention bonus in the middle of January.
Defensive coordinator Mike Tressel has been named the Spartans' acting head coach as the school searches for a permanent replacement.
Dantonio's retirement announcement came one day after his former recruiting director, Curtis Blackwell, filed claims that Dantonio committed NCAA recruiting violations as part of an ongoing lawsuit. The new filing alleges that Dantonio helped arrange employment for the parents of two high-profile recruits. Blackwell also says that Dantonio took him on recruiting trips to a high-profile recruit's home, which is an NCAA violation.
Blackwell claimed in earlier filings for the same lawsuit that Dantonio ignored warning signs from his assistants in order to bring another recruit with a history of sexual violence to campus. That player, former defensive end Auston Robertson, was charged with sexually assaulting a teammate's girlfriend less than a year after he arrived on campus and is serving time in state prison.
Robertson was one of four members from Dantonio's 2016 recruiting class who was kicked off the team following charges of sexual assault. Three others -- Donnie Corley, Josh King and Demetric Vance -- pleaded to lesser charges after prosecutors said they assaulted a woman at a party in January 2017.
Dantonio has declined to answer any questions about the vetting process that let Robertson come to campus.
Dantonio's actions in addressing other sexual assault cases were also the subject of a January 2018 Outside the Lines report stating that since Dantonio's tenure began in 2007, at least 16 Michigan State football players had been accused of sexual assault or violence against women, according to interviews and public records obtained by Outside the Lines.
Dantonio said in his announcement Tuesday that he plans to continue to work with the athletic department at Michigan State in a "special projects" role that will help incoming and current players transition to their next challenges.
Information from ESPN's Paula Lavigne was used in this report.