MSU interim president calls ESPN OTL report a 'sensationalized package'

MSU interim president calls ESPN OTL report a 'sensationalized package'
Posted at 10:38 AM, Feb 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-14 10:39:15-05

Michigan State University Interim President John Engler called an ESPN "Outside the Lines" report about allegations of sexual abuse at the university a "sensationalized package."

In a statement released on Tuesday, Engler discussed a number of issues dealing with the university, Larry Nassar and more.

The OTL report found "sexual assault, violence, and gender discrimination" "allegations by officials ranging from campus police to the Spartan athletic department."

The program reports that the "actions go well beyond the highly publicized case of former MSU athletic physician Larry Nassar."

"I viewed with great concern a recent ESPN report that gathered considerable national attention in no small part because it showed a promotional graphic of our head football and men's basketball coaches (Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo) with Larry Nassar," Engler said. "This was a sensationalized package of reporting that contained allegations and insinuations that we are now reviewing."

Outside the Lines said that both the football program and the basketball program have incidents.These include alleged sexual assaults by members of the football program, which 7 Action News has reported on.

Outside the Lines also reported that they've uncovered "never-before-publicized reports of sexual or violent incidents involving members of Izzo's storied basketball program" that includes "one report made against a former undergraduate student-assistant coach who was allowed to continue coaching after he had been criminally charged for punching a female MSU student in the face at a bar in 2010. ESPN is also reporting that same assistant coach was later accused of sexually assaulting another female student.

According to Engler, both coaches have been asked to refrain from comment while the reports are examined.

"I hope that MSU can soon respond in full and affirm the integrity and probity that has been the hallmark of these two respected coaches," Engler added.

According to MLive, Tom Izzo agreed with Engler, saying, "I only saw a little bit of it, but the part I saw, I agreed with what he said. We'll see what goes from there when I get home and get a chance to read it all and get a chance to talk to him. The part I saw, I agreed with him."