MSU Coach Mark Dantonio breaks silence on sexual assault investigation
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) - Michigan State's Mark Dantonio broke his silence about a sexual assault investigation involving three players and a staff member.
The Spartans head football coach refused to reveal the names of those involved.
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Certainly there were sport reporters in at the conference with legitimate questions about the spring game, but the coach not ready to talk about football.
"This is serious - extremely serious," Dantonio said.
Three players and a football staff member have been suspended as police investigate an alleged sexual assault.
"I can't comment on the investigation in any manner," Dantonio said.
The players have not been named because they have not been charged.
Football team recruiter Curtis Blackwell has been suspended but has not named or charged in this investigation resulting from a sexual assault complaint filed back in January.
Since then press access and information from spring practice have been very limited.
The coach finally spoke out now ahead of Saturday's spring game.
"Obviously I anticipated that this would have been sort of finalized to some extent .. but that's not been the case," Dantonio said.
The coach in a difficult spot -- his players could be criminally charged, but what about the alleged victim?
"She's a very strong young lady and she's doing the best that she can," said her attorney, Karen Truszkowski. "This is not about football -- this is about something that happened to a young lady and people need to keep that in mind."
Coach Dantonio seems to be taking it very seriously.
"What I won't do right now is talk about football because I don't think that that's important enough quite honestly to talk about," Dantonio said. "I hope everybody understands that this is not business as usual."
"I don't think it's fair for me to talk and trivialize what went down one way or another," he said.
On campus, some students say it's a cloud hanging over the program, but hoping it's raising awareness about sexual assault.
"Everybody kind of knew sexual assault is an issue here, but when it happens to players on the football team, I think the problem is inflated," said Andy Chmura. "Now suddenly, everybody's hearing about it. A lot of times sexual assautls remain quiet unfortunately, but now it's anything but quiet. Everybody's hearing about it."
Student Katie Harding says it's an awful experience for someone to go through.
"It keeps happening so if every time it happens, something's learned from it, maybe it will stop," she said.
The Ingham County prosecutor tells Fox 2 the case is still under review -- charges are not imminent within in the next couple of days.