EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio gathered reporters Friday night to address accusations made against him and the football program.
Dantonio began by reading a prepared statement aloud to a group of reporters, where he denied any wrongdoing as reported Friday by ESPN’s Outside the Lines.
He also addressed rumors he would be leaving his position as football coach, saying they are “absolutely false.”
“I am here for Spartan nation, I’m here for our football program and for my family,” he said.
When asked if he was aware of the sexual assaults detailed in the ESPN report, Dantonio said they came to him from the authorities.
“When I found out about a sexual assault, I reported them immediately,” he said. “That was of last year’s (sexual assaults).”
Read his full statement here:
“In this extremely difficult and challenging time for our community, I would first like to express our deepest sympathies and my deepest sympathies to the courageous survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to hear their stories and the pain and suffering they went through, and we are only in the beginning of the stage 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 the day’s reports and the latest reports. I’m 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 by either police or with Michigan State’s Title IX office. I’ve always worked with the proper authorities when dealing with the cases of sexual assault. We have always had high standards in this program and that will never change. The values that we teach in this program will be enforced. We’ve also always tackled problems here head-on and have dealt with issues. When he find out about the problems, it has come from the police or university authorities. I can assure you as in last year’s incidents, I also immediately reported them to the proper authorities.”