Mark Dantonio Denies Allegations of Unreported Sexual Assaults at Michigan State

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2018

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 07: Michigan State Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio watches the action during the fourth quarter of the game against the Michigan Wolverines  at Michigan Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan State defeated Michigan 14-10.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) *** Local *** Mark Dantonio
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Michigan State head football coach Mark Dantonio addressed reporters at the Breslin Student Events Center on Friday night after Outside the LinesPaula Lavigne and Nicole Noren published a wide-ranging investigation into how the school handled reports of sexual assault and violence against women by members of the basketball and football programs. 

"Any accusations of my handling of any complaints of sexual assault individually are completely false," Dantonio said, according to Yahoo Sports' Jason Owens. "Every incident reported in that article was documented either by police or the Michigan State Title IX office. I've always worked with the proper authorities when dealing with sexual assault."

Dantonio also said reports suggesting he will resign are "absolutely false."

In their report, Lavigne and Noren outlined "a pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression" from school officials regarding reports of sexual assault and violence against women. 

According to the investigation, "at least 16 MSU football players have been accused of sexual assault or violence against women" since Dantonio took over as head coach in 2007. 

In June, Dantonio dismissed Joshua King, Demetric Vance and Donnie Corley from the program after they were charged with sexually assaulting a woman at an on-campus apartment, according to USA Today's Sophia Tulp

Former Spartans defensive end Auston Robertson was also kicked off the team in April after he was charged with third-degree sexual misconduct. 

Following the slew of dismissals, Dantonio indicated the program had not previously dealt with similar issues during his time at the helm. 

"This is new ground for us," he told reporters at a press conference in June, per Lavigne and Noren. "We've been here 11 yearsit has not happened previously."

On Friday, Outside the Lines reported it "discovered include three reports of physical violence and three reported sexual assaults by football players," all of which were investigated by campus police. 

However, Lavigne and Noren noted it remains "unknown whether campus police or any university administrator ever notified Dantonio about the incidents, or if they did, whether the coach ever disciplined any of the players."