• Shawn Liverance

Shawn on Sports: Michigan State's Next Black Eye

Michigan State Fans Can't Seem to Catch a Break

Spartan Stadium | Lekcots11 CC BY-SA 4.0

Michigan State University just can’t seem to escape the cloud of controversy concerning the cover up of sexual assaults. 


Nearly a year and a half after the Larry Nassar scandal rocked Michigan State, the University is once again facing some serious allegations. The latest potential firestorm concerns former Michigan State recruiting director Curtis Blackwell. Blackwell filed a wrongful termination and unlawful arrest lawsuit against head football Mark Dantonio, former athletic director Mark Hollis, former university president Lou Anna Simon and two university police officers. The suit says Blackwell was made the scapegoat after an investigation into sexual assaults among football players at Michigan State in 2017.


In the lawsuit, Blackwell claims Blackwell said Dantonio "had a way of making things disappear."


"If you are a high recruit or you were a good player, he would allow those individuals to get away with different things," Blackwell said. "And so because of that, Coach Dantonio had a way of making things disappear."


Even though Dantonio has denied any improper handling of sexual assault allegations among his players. Those are some damning accusations. It seemed things had calmed down after an ESPN report last winter saying Michigan State had a history of covering up incidents of sexual assault in the football and men's basketball programs. But if Blackwell’s lawsuit has any legs it could once again open up questions surrounding the University and its sports programs. What doesn’t pass my smell test is the fact Blackwell earned a substantial pay raise from both Dantonio and Hollis in 2016.


In an ironic twist, Dantonio and Hollis increased Blackwell's salary because "a competing Big Ten football program the University of Michigan, made Blackwell a lucrative offer to join its program in a similar position."


So, he was worth a healthy pay raise and a year later he was fired? Or, was it just a knee jerk reaction to the fallout of the Nassar scandal to make the football program look proactive?


If Blackwell’s claims are substantiated and he is cleared that puts the onus on Dantonio. And, those are questions he is going to have to answer eventually and answers the MSU faithful may not want to hear. Just when Michigan State thought they had put the Nassar scandal behind them, MSU could be in for another black eye. 

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