3 players suspended, Michigan State coach issues statement

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio has released a statement saying he has ''high standards'' for his football program and expects players and staff to ''conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values and principles of Michigan State University.''

Dantonio has kept a low profile after allegations of sexual assault were made against three football players. The school announced the players' suspensions from team activities last month. They also were removed from on-campus housing. Their names have not been released.

A staff member associated with the football program also was suspended.

''I have high standards for the program and expect all of our players and staff to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values and principles of Michigan State University,'' Dantonio said in the statement released Tuesday. ''Our goal is to develop young men of character who graduate and make a positive impact on society.''

Prosecutors have not announced any decision on charges. Michigan State's spring practice began last weekend without any news conference or media access that might normally coincide with it.

''Regarding the ongoing investigations taking place within our program, the allegations are something we're extremely concerned about and taking very seriously. We took immediate action by suspending those involved as soon as we were notified of the situation,'' Dantonio said in his statement. ''Our action is separate from the ongoing criminal and administrative investigations. Those processes will determine if a crime has been committed and also if any university policy has been violated.''

Dantonio says he'll be able to answer questions about the program ''when the time is appropriate.''

''At this point in time, we have to respect the process of the investigations for everyone involved,'' he said.

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More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .

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