ESPN Report: Michigan State Has Given Preferential Treatment To Athletes Accused Of Sexual Assault
A bombshell report published Friday by ESPN and Outside The Lines shows a longstanding and consistent approach to handling cases of sexual assault with inaction and ambivalence, particularly when student athletes are accused.
Important revelations in the story include:
- In 2010, then-MSU basketball players Adreian Payne and Keith Appling allegedly raped a female MSU student in a dorm room. Charges were never filed.
- At least 16 football players have been accused of sexual assault and/or violence against women since Mark Dantonio took over in 2007
- Former MSU basketball player Travis Walton, while a graduate assistant coach for Tom Izzo in 2010, allegedly punched a female student in the face and was allowed to continue coaching, then allegedly sexually assaulted another female student later that month.
- A former sexual assault counselor for MSU told ESPN/OTL that sexual assault complaints against athletes "got kind of swept away and it was handled more by administration [and] athletic department officials."
The story also details MSU's longstanding practice of attempting to suppress the release of information to the public as it pertains to cases of sexual assault.
ESPN/Outside The Lines on Wednesday informed MSU of its findings and that it would be publishing it soon, asking for comment from MSU athletic director Mark Hollis, Izzo and Dantonio. Hollis retired abruptly Friday morning, about two hours before the story was published.
More from the story:
Hollis resigned Friday, two days after Outside the Lines asked MSU spokesman Jason Cody and the university's sports information department for interviews with multiple MSU administrators and athletic officials, including Hollis, Izzo and Dantonio. Outside the Lines told Cody of the main findings of its reporting for this story. Cody declined to answer specific questions but issued a statement on Thursday, in part: "Over the past several years, we have dedicated significant new resources to strengthening our efforts to combat sexual violence. Every day, people across campus are working diligently on this critical issue. We acknowledge, however, that we have sometimes fallen short of our goal and the expectations of others. It is clear more needs to be done, and we are using every resource available to get better."
Click here to read the story for yourself.