Former Michigan State basketball player and coach Travis Walton issued a statement to The Valenti Show on 97.1 The Ticket on Tuesday morning denying the allegations from an ESPN report that he punched a woman and sexually assaulted another woman when he was a student assistant coach for the Spartans.
The ESPN report by Outside The Lines was released on Friday and accused Walton of punching a female student in the face at an East Lansing bar in January 2010. The report also said Walton and two other basketball players were accused of sexually assaulting a female student. The woman did not report it to police but discussed it with then-athletic director Mark Hollis. A former Michigan State sexual assault counselor said the incident was reported to the basketball team and Walton was fired, though he was reportedly allowed to continue coaching after punching the female student.
Walton denied all the allegations in his statement.
"Over the last several days, allegations have been made about me during my tenure at Michigan State University. In this case, the facts are:
I was never hired or fired by Michigan State University. In January of 2010, I was enrolled at Michigan State University, taking the necessary classes to complete my degree. Upon graduation, I returned to Europe to continue my basketball career.
I never physically assaulted a woman at an East Lansing establishment, as alleged. While conversing with her, and without notice or provocation, she threw a drink at me, and I subsequently left the establishment. Two written statements from independent, objective witnesses were given to the City Attorney, and support my innocence. Ultimately, the determination to resolve the case was based on the merits of the investigation.
I have never been charged with sexual assault and, to my knowledge, the alleged sexual assault was never reported to Michigan State University or the police. My encounters with this woman were more than just a single occasion, and my actions with her were always consensual.
I stand by these facts, and will defend myself to the extent that the law allows.
I apologize for the negative attention this has brought my Spartan family, the Clippers organization, and my family and friends.
Walton was placed on administrative leave from his position as an assistant coach for the Clippers' G-League team on Friday.
Spartans head coach Tom Izzo did not specifically address Walton's situation when pressed by an ESPN reporter after Sunday's game. Izzo said he has cooperated with any investigation and will continue to do so.