MSU suspends 3 players, staff member amid sex assault investigation

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Three Michigan State University football players and a staff member are suspended from the team as police investigate a sexual assault complaint.

The three athletes have also been removed from on-campus housing, according to MSU spokesperson Jason Cody.

MSU Police are involved in the criminal investigation, which stems from a complaint made in late January.

In a statement released Thursday, Cody said the school is interviewing members of the coaching staff and “other relevant individuals” about their response to the complaint. The university is also conducting a Title IX investigation to determine if the school’s policy was violated and an independent investigation to determine if football program staff followed university policy.

“Sexual violence is abhorrent, and no member of our community should be threatened in this way. MSU has been proactive in education and prevention efforts and is strongly committed to fostering an environment that encourages sexual assault reporting and supports victims.

Every employee has a clear responsibility to follow the university’s well-established reporting protocols regarding sexual assault. MSU will not tolerate failure to follow established reporting protocols, interference with law enforcement efforts, or lack of cooperation with any Title IX investigation,” Cody said in a statement on the university’s website.

When the investigation is complete, MSU police plan to hand the case over to the Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office for review and possible criminal charges.

“The core values of MSU Athletics are clear, consistently communicated and non-negotiable. Among them are respect for self and others, accountability for actions and choices, and integrity. Sexual assault is unacceptable, and members of MSU Athletics who fail to uphold our standards for creating a culture that is safe, supportive, and responsive to those affected by it will be held accountable. My expectation of all members of the department is full and complete cooperation with all investigations,” stated MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis.