Michigan State Spartans football will come out of the dark and play football in front of other people for the first time on Saturday in the annual Green-White spring game.
On Tuesday, head coach Mark Dantonio spoke to the media for the first time in a long time. There were no questions about what has been happening on the field, and given an ongoing sexual assault investigation, that shouldn’t be surprising.
It was also just how Dantonio would have it, as he made it abundantly clear just how serious he and the entire athletic administration is taking this case.
Dantonio: “Wanted to respect process, everything that goes with that.”
He also highlights immediate action upon allegations.
— Andy C (@AndyOnFootball) March 28, 2017
At one point Dantonio noted that talking about “who would be the starting quarterback” just didn’t seem right considering the seriousness of what is happening off the field.
Dantonio says talking about spring practice, depth charts would have been "trivial" and unfair to the investigation
— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) March 28, 2017
Unlike the Baylor debacle, Dantonio and Co. have struck the right tone here. It is clear they are serious about the situation at hand and won’t put football in the spotlight until all of this gets resolved.
It was also clear that Dantonio and Co. fully expected this investigation to have been completed by now. Otherwise, why wait nearly a month after releasing a press statement to come and talk about an investigation that is still ongoing.
That is something that could’ve been done weeks ago had there been any clue this investigation would be dragging on to this point. It also could’ve meant that this press conference could’ve been about what to expect from his team on Saturday.
As for that resolution, no one seems to know when it will actually come. It is all in the hands of the local district attorney’s office. Once the decision, whether to charge or not, is made, Michigan State football will get back to talking about football again.
Until then, perhaps Saturday will help the players showcase the chemistry that Dantonio talked about emerging thanks to this awful situation.
Dantonio on chemistry: "When things happen to a football program or a family, it takes a minute to regather & come together."
— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) March 28, 2017
Just don’t expect Saturday to prove who is or isn’t under the cloud of investigation, as Dantonio hinted that other players besides the three suspended amidst this sexual assault investigation won’t be participating on Saturday as well.