A Common Sense Look at the Situation with Three Spartan Football Players...

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I, like fans of any college team, am disgusted when athletes screw up and commit crimes that make a program look bad. I have never been one to mince words and to “protect” players. I was the one who broke last season that a player was in the Dantonio doghouse and despite his denials I was proven correct.

 

I made the decision not to comment or report when other media outlets did (either on SpartanNation.com or ABC 3 Sports) about the three players for one simple reason.

 

It wasn't relevant. Let me explain.

 

A source with the prosecutors office told me yesterday evening, “It really amounts to three kids that were not committing a crime. An officer told them to stop and they ran. Should they have run? Of course not. It was dumb to do, but they were not being investigated nor were they in trouble. It amounted to a traffic ticket in scope.” Would I report if a player got a speeding ticket? No. If they had been committing a crime or were even being looked at and suspected, it would have made it germane. When players got accused of beating someone last year I certainly reported it.

 

A source inside MSU football who is well aware of the situation told me early yesterday evening, “Coach has disciplined the kids and all of our information was that it was dumb to do, but they essentially got traffic tickets as far as severity. He dealt with them. The discipline was handed out and it is a mute point.”

 

They committed actions that did hurt nor endanger anyone else and it was a minor offense. One of the players failed to show up in court as he was out of town and similar to a traffic ticket assumed he would just have to pay it and it would be over. A warrant was “WRITTEN,” but according to sources in the prosecutors office and at MSU it was never signed, thus it was NEVER an actual warrant because until the judge signs it, it is not an actual warrant.

 

All of it essentially boils down to three kids that made a dumb decision that wasn't putting anyone in danger, it wasn't involving drugs or alcohol, and it was nothing more than a stupid mistake.

 

If an MSU athlete commits a serious crime, I will report it. If I have it first I will break it. When a kid screws up and no one is endangered, and the severity of it is something that amounts to a traffic ticket, I won't. By the way, I got stopped and issued a ticket recently. Not the first time. For whatever it is worth.

 

Kids will make mistakes. You have 100 of them at MSU football. All three are good kids that don't have a track record of legal issues. If they arise again then it becomes a pattern and then it is germane. I can tell you this. There isn't anything here. It isn't a big deal. I refuse to make it one.

 

Like a cop at a traffic accident...move along people there is nothing to see here. Oh, I forgot to add this in the interest of full disclosure. Growing up as a kid in Laingsburg in 1985, I was toilet papering a house with a couple of friends. The cops came and we ran away into the woods after being told to stop. We got away. It was dumb of me. I shouldn't have done it. I didn't turn out to be an ax murderer. I learned, just like these three will.

 

I realize many of you have never done anything wrong. I will lead the charge when someone screws up. I won't when it isn't a significant issue. Coach dealt with them and so has the law. Good enough for me.

 

I wanted to add one more addendum to this article. I am very proud of the LSJ and even more of my friend Joe Rexrode. They are both tremendous. I was in no way referring to them for reporting the story. In fact I think they were responsible and as always professional. Sadly however people try to make more of things when an athlete in involved. I know Joe personally and I can tell the fans this: he is the best in the business. My comment about coverage wasn't directed at all to or about him.Â

I have gotten flooded with email from people demanding Dantonio kick the kids of the team and others ridiculous statements. Read this email from Bert who wrote, “If Dantonio is truly a man of strong conviction and faith, then keeping these players proves nothing less than it is a show.” Please! How stupid!

 

A misdemeanor carrying a max of a 90 day sentence is not anything to laugh at. It is something however to look at in context of the situation and this situation is truly no big deal.