That was MSU football head coach Mark Dantonio’s message to the fans who are concerned about the state of the football program, given that it has been over six weeks since a sexual assault investigation was opened and three football players were suspended indefinitely.
The last time Dantonio spoke to the media in person was February 1st for National Signing Day. Then, he sent out a statement regarding the investigation and the media hasn’t seen much of him since then.
Here is a brief recap of the conference, equipped with analysis from yours truly.
1. Nothing Concrete
Dantonio offered no specifics about any players who were suspended or injured, which is not out of the norm. He said recruiting was still going well, but said nothing about the suspension of MSU football’s director of recruiting Curtis Blackwell or any other football staff. The most new information that he offered any fans was that Drake Martinez, who played cornerback and linebacker and was on the special teams unit, decided to transfer from the program.
Martinez played just last year for MSU after transferring in, and is probably best known for his illegal leaping penalty against Indiana last season in an attempt to block the Hoosiers’ field goal attempt in overtime. Indiana missed that field goal, but the penalty gave them another chance, which they converted and sent the Spartans in a downward spiral.
2. Spring Game Specifics
Dantonio talked about how the administration and program only talked “slightly” about potentially postponing the spring game or even barring it from fans. The big thing here is the fact that Dantonio said the players will be wearing their respective numbers.
That means that it will be very easy for media members and fans in attendance or watching on BTN (Saturday, 3pm EST) to identify who is on the field and who is not. Dantonio may give more information after the game to who is injured and to who is suspended, but speculation will be prevalent during the game as to who is who –– for the fans at least.
Dantonio believes it is unfair to lump together injured players with those suspended as a result of the investigation. Unfortunately, that is likely going to happen.
3. Team morale
Dantonio said that, despite the investigation, he will do the best he can to educate his players about what is right and what is wrong. He also said it was “trivial” to talk about things like “who is at the top of the depth chart at quarterback,” or “how is the team dealing with senior departures.”
Dantonio also made a point of emphasis to talk about how this investigation is giving the program an opportunity to re-center itself, and Dantonio said that the players are coming together and team morale has “never been higher.”
Dantonio and his players will take the field in front of fans and media on Saturday at 3 p.m. for the annual Green-White Spring Football Game. Gates will open at 1:30 p.m.