Bacon: Izzo, Dantonio need to be ready for some tough (and necessary) questions
An ESPN report over the weekend reveals a long-time pattern of denial, lack of action, and allegations of incidents involving Spartan football and basketball players.
That has resulted in tough questions for coaches Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo, including a post-game moment yesterday for Izzo in which he was questioned about why former player and student coach Travis Walton was allowed to remain on the job after being accused of punching a woman in the face, as well as a separate accusation of being connected to a gang rape.
John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside to talk about how Michigan State's coaches are handling the hot water that the school and their students are in.
Listen above for the full conversation, or catch highlights below.
On the difference between Izzo and Dantonio's situations
"I would make a distinction between Izzo's situation and Dantonio's," Bacon said. "As far as I know, Coach Izzo's got three situations to answer for. One of course is Travis Walton, the one being discussed, also Adreian Payne and Keith Appling were both part of an incident with a woman that looks horrible, and what happened will be a question worth answering for sure. We don't know about that. In Dantonio's case, he's got a ten-year pattern of 16 players accused of sexual assault over this stretch.
"I'm not dismissing in any way Izzo's situation, but it seems to be at least contained. Now, how bad that is, we're going to find out. I don't see Dantonio's as contained. I see it as a pattern that has been rolling out for a decade, class after class, and that, to me, is a different situation."
On the futility of an NCAA investigation into MSU
"Look, they don't do their own job very well — they're not going to do the FBI's job very well.... I don't want these people looking into pedophilia, murder, these things. They're utterly ill-equipped to do their own job, let alone this job," Bacon said.
On how these matters should be handled in sports
"When athletes tell you these things, take action. When your athletes are involved in these things as the perpetrators, take action," Bacon said. "Give it over to law enforcement. Don't try to get cute or funny. Don't just deal with campus police. Get serious law enforcement help, and it's someone else's issue at that point, it really is, in terms of it's their investigation, not yours."