Mark D'Antonio and Tom Izzo Should be Fired From Michigan State Immediately
Zero tolerance. How much they actually knew is now irrelevant. Michigan State football coach Mark D'Antonio and basketball coach Tom Izzo need to leave the program.
It's clear based on the reporting the past week or so Michigan State leaders knew there were problems with athletes and women. And more significantly--they hid or just didn't bother to follow up with the litany of complaints against Dr. Larry Nasser.
The Nasser issues are now well documented and the dirty doctor will never see the outside of a prison again.
It does not excuse now "Retired" Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon nor now "Retired" athletic director Mark Hollis from culpability. It appears based on the reporting by multiple outlets (Indianapolis Star, ESPN, The Athletic and others) there was a culture of "Athletes being athletes".
That culture should also be the downfall of both D'Antonio and Izzo and it does not matter what their peers or current players think.
The idea D'Antonio had no idea what was going on is patently absurd. The implication--by him, he had no idea about any incidents involving his players is laughable. This ESPN Outside the Lines report alone implicates him in the coverup. Which should be a fireable offense. NO questions asked.
Just alone the implication from his 2017 statement; "This is new ground for us" regarding his handling of 4 players accused of sexual assault is a bold faced lie.
Yeah, sure--he probably did report the incidents when they occurred, but those incidents were summarily downplayed and all but made to go away by an Athletic Department that didn't want the publicity and it appears a Campus Police department determined to protect his players.
It went further based on an implication by the former school sexual assault counselor Lauren Allswede stating she was told by Michigan State General Counsel that D'Antonio had addressed a sexual assault complaint against one of his players by having said player talk to his mother.
The sad thing is---Izzo's Basketball team is even more of an issue. Much more....
Multiple reports of issues involving basketball players---and at one point an assistant coach (Travis Walton) went either unreported at the time or essentially swept under the rug. Even when there was a direct report of a sexual assault by players Adrien Payne and Keith Appling---it got downplayed so much, that an Assistant Prosecutor investigating the woman's complaint against the pair told the accuser she didn't seem strong enough to stand up to question.
Said Assistant Prosecutor--Debra Rousseau Martinez...now works as a Title IX Officer at...you guessed it, Michigan State.
The numerous, documented cases of obstruction, lack of caring or follow through seemingly is cause for a Criminal Investigation. Yet, the NCAA just announced this week they'd look into it.
Sure, I know the NCAA does not have criminal power--but Ingham County (East Lansing) does. All the outlets reporting on this have documented the lawsuits they had to go through in order to get public records of these events and the battle with administrators to admit anything happened at all.
I know full well, College Athletics protects and glorifies coaches for their teams successes. D'Antonio is beloved for his success with the football team in the Big 10. But you can't tell me or any other rational person he knew nothing about ANY of the documented 16 incidents involving football players.
Yeah, maybe he was THAT disconnected or the system was set to protect him from knowing what was up.
But I don't believe it.
And to think Tom Izzo didn't know Travis Walton attacked and/or assaulted more that one woman while a player and an Assistant Coach is absurd.
Could Izzo have said to Mark Hollis or someone else to "Handle it?" yeah, sure he could have. It doesn't make him less responsible.
Considering the culture at Michigan State, everyone involved in this cover up should be fired on the spot. Is this another Baylor--maybe not. Baylor had a zillion of these unreported incidents and it was very clear how it was covered up.
But there's enough here to clean house. The NCAA should--but likely won't drop the hammer. And prosecutors won't pursue charges. The only recourse is to clean house. Something that would by the Spartans some credibility and show at least they are willing to take SOME responsibility for a mess they very clearly created.....