Darrell Moody: Difficult times at Michigan State

Michigan State. Just saying it these days leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

The cloud hanging over Sparty is dark. It may get darker. Facts are coming faster than the speed of light since the Larry Nassar sentencing earlier this week.

In the recent developments surrounding Nassar and his molestation of athletes, many of whom were Olympic gymnasts, so much more has come out involving alleged misconduct on the MSU campus involving student-athletes on the men’s basketball and football teams.

There is talk about players from the men’s basketball and football teams that got in legal trouble (sexual misconduct; abuse/battery toward women), and that the school covered things up. News organizations had to go to the Michigan Supreme Court to get documents because the school wouldn’t cooperate over the years.

Not surprisingly, the news organizations won. That’s why you see the university president and athletic director stepping down. It’s why you may see football coach Mark Dantonio and basketball coach Tom Izzo shown the door.

There is a reason that schools cover this stuff up and don’t punish student-athletes accordingly. It’s about the almighty dollar. Schools are worried that if their best players are involved, it would not only give the school a black eye, but those teams might not win enough to bring in the extra money that a bowl game or NCAA appearance would give it.

Look at Penn State and look at Baylor. In the Penn State case, it involved just one individual, Jerry Sandusky, as far as we know. Joe Paterno and the PSU administration should have nixed Sandusky ever being on the university grounds and notified police once they were notified.

Baylor overlooked several rape allegations involving football players. It eventually cost coach Art Briles his job.

According to reports, many people on the MSU campus were told about the various incidents that happened at MSU, involving both Nassar and other MSU coaches, yet nothing was done. Not just sexual misconduct , but covering up criminal acts. It’s so wrong, and I know MSU is not the only school guilty of some of this.

There was stuff being covered up as far back as 1997 at MSU, and I think any coach involved in a cover-up still at MSU back when that happened should be fired with no questions asked.

That includes Izzo and Dantonio, two of the most successful coaches in MSU history. Izzo already said he’s not going anywhere. He may not have a choice. Izzo is the head coach and responsible for the program whether he is directly responsible or not for any of the acts. The buck stops with him. If he or members of his coaching staff got kids off with lesser charges, he should be fired.

If Izzo and/or Dantonio have any knowledge of misconduct they should be banned by the NCAA. Ditto for any other guilty coach at any other collegiate institution.

Many people are calling for the death penalty for MSU athletics. I’d have to wait and see before I would agree with that decision.

I do think, however, that depending on what else comes out, and there will be more uncovered, that the guilty programs be shut down for several years.


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