Michigan State Spartans football head coach Mark Dantonio is coming back for his 12th season in East Lansing.
The Michigan State board of trustees authorized an annual contract extension. The terms of his deal with the university is for an annual one year extension, unless they were to give him a hand-written notice by mid-January of a change to that deal.
His base agreement with Michigan State is six years, meaning this contract extension leaves him as Spartans coach through the year 2023 (worth an annual $4.3 million).
On Friday, university interim president and former Michigan governor John Engler once again blasted ESPN’s coverage of the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked Michigan State, and praised Dantonio as “one of the most honorable coaches, I think, in the country.”
“A reporter can take something that’s leaked, put her spin on it and run with it, especially from a news media that’s frankly struggling,” Engler said. “Great way to be sensationalistic, and then I’m barred from saying what I might know.”
Engler also said that Dantonio’s handling of four players involved in two sexual assault cases, all of whom are awaiting trial in Ingham County, was “textbook.“
Dantonio dismissed Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance in June this past year after they’d been previously suspended in February for a sexual assault allegation dating back to January. He also dismissed Auston Robertson from the program following his charge of criminal sexual conduct in April.
““That’s a great tribute to him, because that’s the kind of man he is,” Engler said of Dantonio’s handling of the players. “That’s the integrity he has.”
Dantonio responded to ESPN’s controversial Outside the Lines report which claimed that he personally handled at least one sexual assault claim on January 26 prior to Michigan State’s game against Wisconsin on the hardwood.
““Any accusations of my handling of any complaints of sexual assault individually are completely false,” Dantonio said. “Every incident reported in that article was documented by either police or the Michigan State Title IX office. I have always worked with the proper authorities when dealing with cases of sexual assault.
We have always had high standards in this program, and that will never change,” he continued. “The values that we teach to everyone in this program will be enforced. We’ve also always tackled problems here head-on and have dealt with issues. When you find out about the problems, it has come from the police or the university authorities. I can assure you as in last year’s incident, I also immediately reported that to the proper authorities.”