Ex-staffer: Michigan St, Dantonio was warned about recruit

Head coach Mark Dantonio of the Michigan State Spartans leads the team on the field before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 17, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former football recruiter who is suing Michigan State says he urged coach Mark Dantonio to reject a player who subsequently was convicted of sexual assault.

The former recruiter, Curtis Blackwell, said Dantonio chose Auston Robertson in 2016 over the objections of staff. He said it was widely known Robertson had a criminal history in Indiana and would be a controversial choice. Blackwell said he and others warned that Robertson would be a “horrible fit for a college campus.”

The remarks were made during a deposition, which is part of a lawsuit against Dantonio and other officials. Blackwell’s contract wasn’t renewed in 2017.

His lawsuit claims he was illegally suspended and released in the fallout over assault charges against three other players.

“The fact that Mr. Blackwell’s contract was not renewed has nothing to do with Auston Robertson,” Dantonio said in a statement issue Friday. “Two years ago, I spoke at length about Auston Robertson when he was dismissed from the team in 2017. Rather than engage in a public argument with a former staffer, I refer you to those previous statements. Further, there have been multiple investigations into the program’s handling of sexual assaults, including Jones Day in 2017 and the NCAA in 2018, and they concluded that the program and myself committed no violations.”

Robertson is eligible for parole in 2021.

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1 Comment

  • gobluespartyon

    Curtis Blackwell is lying about Coach Mark Dantonio who should sue Curtis since what he is saying is slander and defaming coach D’s good name which isn’t right and Curtis lawsuit is baseless without facts or proof Curtis is a liar and is lying in his lawsuit as well. ESPN Outside The Lines was wrong to call Mark Dantonio a villain of the week today which they’re wrong to support a known liar in Curtis but ESPN has it out for MSU trying to link the football team & basketball team to Larry Nassar for the last couple of year. In a hit piece by Paula, the liar MSU should sue ESPN for slander and defaming Dantonio & Izzo’s good name that isn’t right. I can’t believe that Paula won an award that was clearly a hit piece on the football & basketball programs without any facts or proof which both programs are run clean which ESPN & Paula don’t get and should be telling the truth and not lying which they have lied about coach Dantonio & Izzo.

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