OPINION: MSU scandal opens web of lies

By Kyle Yager, Sports Editor —

If you are unfamiliar with the extreme sexual assault scandal currently unfolding at Michigan State, you’re at the right place. It is inarguably one of the biggest scandals to unfurl in sports history, and we have only just begun to scratch the surface.

The exposure comes in the wake of the conviction of world-renowned sports physician Larry Nassar and his unnerving molestation of more than 150 young girls throughout his tenure as doctor for the Olympic gymnastic team and Michigan State. With the testimony of well-known Olympic gymnasts like McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman, the world watched as justice came down on Nassar. On Wednesday he was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

“You do not deserve to walk outside of prison ever again,” said Judge Aquilana, the residing judge over the trial, as she imposed the sentence. “I just signed your death warrant.”

The sentencing still feels like a slap on the wrist for such a horrible individual who has ruined and scarred so many innocent, impressionable lives.  

Following the sentencing, then-president of Michigan State Lou Anna K. Simon resigned that night.

Fast forward to Friday, when Michigan State university’s entire athletic department exploded. Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis resigned that morning as stories began flooding in about numerous cases of sexual assault impropriety dealing with athletes. The problems had now spread to football and, the heart of Michigan State athletics, basketball.

Leaks put Tom Izzo, head basketball coach, and Mark Dantonio, head football coach, under fire with notations of multiple events of unscrupulous lack of action and catering to offenders.

Accusations are alarming. One describes Dantonio having one malefactor simply talk to his mother about the incident, but receive no further punishment. Another unsettling reveal notes the widely reported sexual assault involving, then, key Spartan guards Adreian Payne and Keith Appling, saying they weren’t punished.

Upon release of these reports, Payne was waived by the Orlando Magic over the weekend.

These are just a couple examples of many disturbing allegations that the offending parties were not held responsible because those responsible for punishment were only concerned with winning. This is just another recent example of people in extremely powerful positions deciding their personal gain is worth ignoring the continued victimization of innocent women.

As shocking and perturbing as all of these allegations have been, I haven’t even mentioned the most deceitful part of this extensive entwinement. Its truly appalling how far down the rabbit whole our web extends.

According to a report released Saturday from The Athletic, NCAA president Mark Emmert was alerted about 37 reports of sexual assault at Michigan State in 2010, and he did NOTHING.

To reiterate for emphasis, the president of the NCAA was alerted about 37 cases of Michigan State athletes committing sexual assault eight years ago and he didn’t do a damn thing. He didn’t investigate the issue, he didn’t ask for accountability, he didn’t implement suspension, he didn’t impose disciplinary sanctions, hell, he probably hardly stirred as he’s slept like a newborn child for eight years as sexual offenders thrived with no repercussions or sense of wrongdoing.

This evokes recollection of the monumental Penn State scandal from years before. The confirmed reports of Sandusky’s molestation of adolescent boys rightfully led to his demise, but as reports surfaced of impropriety  from higher ups, it ended up completely killing the Penn State program that was. It even led to the shaming of the once beloved legend Joe Paterno, and seemed to erode his will to live, as he died soon after.

This is Penn State times 10.

The sizeable difference here is one of the main extremities of this web. The NCAA was responsible for punishing Penn State for the scandal, and boy did they come down hard. What happens now that the NCAA, the entity responsible for punishment, is involved in the violation? How does one promote justice when the judge, jury, and executioner, is the one committing the injustic? We are in uncharted waters.

Oh, what tangled webs we weave.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette will be investigating the scandal, and he hopes to bring swift justice.

“Let’s be very clear; no individual in no department at Michigan State University is off limits,” said Schuette. “We will put a bright light at every corner of the university.”

When unweaving a web of lies that is so sticky and so tangled, you have one solution. Kill the spider.


Kyle Yager

Kyle Yager

Sports Editor

  1. This is one of the most uninformed articles I have ever read. This is the exact reason people hate journalism today. You are jumping on the bandwagon about an issue that is very hot right now, knowing you will get clicks and reads.
    While you are from Chattanooga Tennessee, with no information more than ESPN has spewed.

    First your comment about Mark Dantonio having someone talk to their mother, while this is correct, he made them talk to their mom about why they were kicked off the team, not just talk to their mother and come back and play.

    Second the Adreian Payne and Keith Appling incident, was a very interesting incident. But they were reported to police, interviewed by the police, and the police found that there was not enough evidence to believe a crime had occurred (there is video of Adrein Payne talking to police).

    Also to add to your story you are saying this is Penn State times 10. While so far that couldn’t be further from true. Penn State had actual evidence of covering issues between coaches/president/AD as well as others. So far there is not a single shred of evidence that Izzo or Dantonio worked to cover up any issues, just that issues happened underneath them.

    Now with Larry Nassar, if it comes out that the President or AD did cover this up then yes this is worse than PSU. However this is a separate issue than Dantonio and Izzo. The report that came out had no evidence at all of them being involved in any sort of cover ups, just that incidents happened underneath them.

    Now I fully agree they need to be fully investigated. And if they find that they were actively covering up incidents, they should be immediately fired. But if they were reporting incidents and the police had bad investigations, that is not on the coaches.

    Before you grab your torch and join the which hunt read some facts, before immediately assuming they are involved in this.

    Side note, I like how you nor anyone, has reported how last year Dantonio dealt with a sexual allegation by immediately reporting (withing 15 minutes of learning), an incident involving 3 of his best young stars, and then kicking them off the team before being convicted of anything. Does this prove his innocence? No but it paints a different picture than the media is trying to push.

  2. Where is the proof Mark Dantonio did anything wrong? These supposed football allegations are not new info to anyone and have been reported to the proper authorities. Where’d you get your info? ESPN? The worldwide leader of opportunistic drama? Funny how the finished this piece in August but didn’t release it until after scumbag trial. Trying to do anything they can to to link izxo and coach d to scumbag. Great journalism. Learn to think for yourself.

  3. I have to comment that this article gets it wrong on Paterno. What led to his demise was that he was suffering from advanced cancer. Not the disappointment of being slimed by the press. See the press got off easy because the person they decided was complicit and evil had died and could not defend himself. Of all the people in the chain related to the incident in the showers, the only one that acted first and acted fast was Paterno. McQuery though about it, talked it over with his dad and then asked Paterno what to do. He easily could have gone to the police (Campus, State College or State Police) and made a report. He shirked his responsibility and put Paterno in the middle of it. Paterno went and took McQ to the authorities to make a report (BTW, the guideance that NCAA came out with after this says to do exactly what JoeP DID.) The AD and the President got what they deserved. Their actions brought shame to folks that did not deserve it and the firing was an attempt on their part to cover their asses and throw the attention elsewhere. As Joe said, in hindsight he wished he did more. at the time he did what he did he thought he had done the right thing in reporting it but in HINDSIGHT he likely decided more might have helped. Honestly the press was out for blood and a chance to go after one of the cleanest programs in the country was too much for them to let lie. Most of the Freeh report as been debunked as opinion and conjecture with little factual support for the conclusions.

  4. I’m thinking, purely conjecture you understand, perhaps Emmert reacted the what he did to the Sandusky affair was, perhaps, because maybe he was an alterboy in his youth who had been diddled by a parish priest. FLASHBACK!

    On the other hand, maybe he thinks, as do many men of authority (coaches included), that young women are there for the use by, and greater glorification of men. Thus, his reaction, or egregious lack thereof, to the Michigan State transgressions.

    As I said, just conjecture.

  5. Great Report man! Don’t let the haters bring you down. The piece was rightfully passitonate, informative, and truthful. Many forget that this is an opinion piece…..

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