WATCH: Dantonio: 'any accusations ... are completely false' in ESPN report

- Michigan State Head Football Coach Mark Dantonio spoke to the media Friday evening to refute allegations made against him earlier in the day by ESPN's Outside The Lines.

Basketball Coach Tom Izzo is expected to speak about the report after his team's win over Wisconsin tonight. The ESPN report suggested "a pattern of secrets" beyond the Larry Nassar case and into the athletic programs.

Izzo spoke of his support for the survivors and about the unity of the student body, which wore teal at the game in an organized effort. He said he knew of the ESPN report, but said he did not have time to read all of it.

Earlier, Dantonio delivered a short statement about the report, saying "I have always worked with the proper authorities when dealing with cases of sexual assault."

Afterwards he said that attorneys had advised against him taking any questions, but added that he felt steadfast in what he said. He took two questions from the media.

First he addressed rumors that Dantonio might resign, which he denied.

"That is absolutely false," he said. "I am here for Spartan Nation, I am here for my program and for my family. And to look the people in the eye who I guess, instigated those reports."

He was also asked whether he knew about previous sexual assaults in relation to the ESPN story.

"It came to me from the authorities," Dantonio said. "When I found out about a sexual assault I reported them immediately. That was as of last year's."

Earlier on Friday Athletic Director Mark Hollis retired abruptly, while Thursday former university president Lou Anna Simon submitted a letter of resignation in the wake of the Larry Nassar case.

His full statement: 

"During this extremely difficult and challenging time for our community, I would first like to extend our and my deepest sympathies to the courageous survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse. It is absolutely heartbreaking to hear their stories, and the pain and suffering they went through. We are only in the beginning of the stages of the healing process for the community and even more importantly for the survivors and their families.

"I have received many questions and inquiries about today's reports, or latest reports. I am here tonight to say that any accusations of my handling of any complaints of sexual assault individually are completely false.

"Every incident reported in that article was documented either by police or the Michigan State Title IX office. I have always worked with the proper authorities when dealing with cases of sexual assault. We have always had high standards in this program and that will never change. The values that we teach everyone in this program will be enforced. 

"We've also always tackled problems here head-on and have dealt with issues. When we find out about the problems it has come from the police or the university authorities. I can assure you, as in last year's incidents, I also reported them to the proper authorities."
 


 

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