This time, Cassius Peat’s stay in East Lansing will end before it even begins.
Peat was originally a four-star member of the 2015 recruiting class, but after redshirting his first year on campus decided to transfer to Pima Community College in Arizona, citing personal and family reasons. After then committing to UCLA, Peat had a change of heart and was set to return to East Lansing and suit up in Green and White after all.
However, according to a report today from the Detroit Free Press’ Chris Solari, Peat was told by coaches that he should not come back to Michigan State this past Wednesday.
DL Cassius Peat tells Freep MSU coaches told him Wed. that he can't come play for Spartans, 4 days before arrival. Says he is "blindsided."— Chris Solari (@chrissolari) June 10, 2017
Peat didn’t mince words when asked about his feelings on this abrupt decision.
“Morally, I didn’t think it was right,” Peat said. “Four days before I was supposed to report, they just blindsided me and said I couldn’t come.”
Now, he said, he is exploring options at other Big Ten and Pac-12 schools and plans to take some visits.
“I have respect for them, and I understand it’s a business,” Peat said. “But morally, man, as a 20-year-old kid with a family, for them to do that is – I can’t even put it into words, to be honest.
According to Peat, he wasn’t even given a reason when the coaches told him not to return.
“I did nothing wrong. I was admitted to get back in and everything. I’ve been trying to bite my lip about it, but I just feel like I have to put that out there. … They didn’t even give me a reason.”
His final quotes are the most damning, as they clearly question MSU’s motivations and reference the intense internal issues going on at the moment.
“It’s beyond me why they would do that,” Peat said. “I was admitted by compliance and the university. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on with the program. … I worked so hard in the year off, taking all these (course) hours. Even coming back on an official visit and, just four days before, they throw you to the curb. I had to put that out there to this point.
“Respectfully and professionally, I’m not talking bad on the program. I’m not talking bad on Coach Dantonio, I still have respect for him. Hopefully they have a better year and they get that stuff figured out. I know there’s a lot of turmoil going on.”
On the football field, this is bad. MSU’s defensive line was already shaping up to be a weak spot and they just lost, at the very least, a contributor. Off the field, like so many other incidents this offseason, this is much worse.
Everything about this offseason points to a sizable lack of control and accountability within the football program. Beyond all of the other horrible criminal acts and transfers, now you have what appears to be the team more or less pulling a scholarship offer from a twice-recruited player mere days before he is set to enroll.
If Peat’s side of the story is in fact the full story, that’s a direct conflict with the principles Dantonio has built his program on. Moreover, it continues to open the door for other, larger questions about the future of this program to be asked. Questions that this time a year ago would have been downright blasphemous.
Nothing is imminent, but given the state of affairs in East Lansing, the leash is probably getting tighter.