Mark Dantonio has stepped down from his position as head coach following a lawsuit claiming Michigan State had committed multiple NCAA recruiting violations. Dantonio said the lawsuit had nothing to do with his decision. Instead, he said he wants to spend time with his wife and children. He is stepping down after 13 years as the Spartans’ coach.
The former head coach spoke to the media about the lawsuit’s impact on his on his resignation.
Former recruiting director Curtis Blackwell brought up the lawsuit against Dantonio. In detail, Blackwell claimed that he helped in arranging jobs and brought Blackwell along for recruiting visits. Both of these actions are violations of the NCAA’s rules. Coaches are not allowed to promise employment for a recruit’s parents upon signing or bring non-coaching staff on visits.
Dantonio denies that he ever directed Blackwell to talk to university donor Bob Skandalaris about getting jobs for a newcomer’s parents.
According to Michigan State’s athletic director, Bill Beekman, the school is happy to defend Dantonio in court against Blackwell’s claims.
Blackwell is also suing former athletic director Mark Hollis, former president Lou Anna Simon and two university police detectives for wrongful termination and unlawful arrest.
Dantonio’s legacy at Michigan State
In addition to winning three Big Ten titles, a Rose Bowl, and taking his team to the playoffs once, Dantonio has one the most games of any head coach in the program’s history.
When asked during Tuesday’s press conference if his abrupt exit will hurt the program, Dantonio said he was confident that “Michigan State will get an outstanding football coach that will care about young people.”
Mark Dantonio thanked everyone that contributed to his 13 years as coach.
He also released a statement addressed “To all Spartans” Tuesday afternoon.
To all Spartans: Thank you for everything. You have truly helped my dreams come true. pic.twitter.com/uKkubvp1cW
— Mark Dantonio (@DantonioMark) February 4, 2020