Answering your Michigan State Football Questions and Emails…
Now that the lid is off in terms of the legal issues regarding the football team, do you expect media access to the team to return to "normal" or will the submarine mentality continue. I hope we'll be able to soon get a pulse on this team. Rick Emerson
We will have access again next week, but even last year before the legal issues it was diminishing. If things do not get a fast start, I continue to expect less.
Hondo, when are the next big Michigan State camps for football? I know Coach Dantonio often gets some key recruits at those camps. Thanks Cam R.
They begin next week. Many schools started them this week, but Sound Mind and Sound Body in Detroit was this weekend and MSU traditionally doesn’t compete with that camp.
Hondo, I have followed you for years. You are not one to ask meaningless questions. That is why when I was listening to the press conference on the Spartan Sports Network I found your question to Dantonio interesting about anyone warning him. Did you know of anyone warning him? Can you give more detail at this time? Thank you. S. Mary
My question was simply had any Michigan State employee PRIOR to the alleged sexual assault ever voiced concerns to Coach Dantonio about Curtis Blackwell. His answer was, “We were in the process at that point in time of evaluating our entire staff and responsibilities, and getting feedback from everybody, so I can’t say whether it was before or after, but we had conversations. As I said, philosophical differences.” Did I know of any employee warning him? I was NOT in the room so I do not have firsthand knowledge of such. I do however have multiple people that have told me and others that they did warn him prior to the alleged assault. I can also say that they told me PRIOR to the alleged assault that they had shared them, it wasn’t post assault saying they had told him PRIOR.
Hondo, can you tell me exactly how many people we have lost off of the roster from last year that should have been here for this year? Mike Peterman
Sure, there are ten. Montae Nicholson and Malik McDowell are gone to the NFL, and I would argue the loss of Malik as addition by subtraction. In addition, there are Donnie Corley, Josh King, Demetric Vance, Auston Robertson, Kenney Lyke, Thiyo Lukusa, Kaleel Gaines and Jon Reschke. You have 85 scholarship players so over 10%.
Hey Hondo, obviously bringing Robertson in was a mistake in retrospect, but you stated previously that before he signed his LOI most didn't think that coach D was going to bring him in, and many were shocked when he was allowed to sign. Do you have any insight as to why Coach D had a change of heart and allowed him to sign with MSU in the first place? Stephen Novak
I have none. The word was that MSU was moving COMPLETELY away and did not want him. I can tell you that Coach Dantonio had members of the athletic department staff STUNNED when he signed him. I know of at least one other media member who was told by athletic department staff as well that Robertson was not coming because Dantonio had told them that and they were shocked.
Hondo, you reported that Vayante Copeland and Robert Bowers were not with the team. Curious for updates on those two? Scott N. Grand Rapids
You are right. While some said that I reported they were kicked off, I did not. I said they were NOT with the program (Team). Dantonio confirmed that when he said they were red locked. Simply stated that is suspended and not with the team or program activity. Bowers, as of this week according to team and staff, is back and working out, and as of this morning’s workout I can confirm from team and staff that Copeland is still not with the team or in today's program activity. That does not mean he won’t be back, but as of this mornings major workout, he still was not. I really like Vayante and he is a good person. I am rooting for him. I hope to be able to write one day that he is.
Hondo, I applaud how you handled the entire sexual assault issues. I am curious. There was another media entity that took a shot at Keith Mumphery and it cost him his job with the Texans. Did you know about it? If so, I appreciate that you didn’t report it, but what led to that correct choice. Randy Davis
I did know about it. Since it happened AFTER he was done with his eligibility I did not think it important to report as I cover Spartan sports and at that point it was not a sport issue. However, I do not fault those that did in light of the current issues at Michigan State. For me and my reporting, I did not think it imperative.
Hondo, what is the plan to replace Curtis Blackwell? Thank you. K.S.
Former Lions GM Sheldon White has picked up a lot of the slack. More details later as this plays out.
Hondo, did anything from the Dantonio Hollis press conference surprise you? Keith in Laingsburg
Yes. When Coach Dantonio mentioned speaking of Robertson, “Obviously, we took a risk” and “Philosophical Differences” with Blackwell I was VERY surprised by both statements. Those two areas deserve and are getting further scrutiny.
Did anything coming out of the Board of Trustees meeting surprise you? Joe Polasek
Yes. I remember years ago at the press conference to announce Mark Dantonio as the head coach at MSU the board ripped the media. RIPPED! Well, they were the ones talking to us (not all but many) and encouraging us to write about the candidate they wanted or any number of inside baseball stories. One particular Trustee spoke to me and at least one other media member on the night before the hire was announced and they had already agreed with Dantonio that his candidate (Not Dantonio) was actually going to get it. The same happened here with this story. They came out and ripped us and made fun of us being at a “Budget Meeting” that multiple members told us to be at because Dantonio and Hollis had been “Ordered” and “Told” to appear at. The media at the Administration Building and in Washington DC got ripped by the people who talk and feed them. It won’t change, it is how the beast works. I was just a little surprised. Someday I will share a very funny story about a leak. That particular meeting was very blatant and it surprised me this time for reasons I can’t get into.
Hondo, I am curious about something. It seemed like MSU President Simon scolded the media for being at the meeting. Are you all not allowed to attend? Thanks, Don in Eaton Rapids
Yes, MSU is a public institution, but remember that it was an off the books meeting. We only knew because those on the board or who had ties to the board told us when it was and to be there.
There you go everyone. That is your weekly MSU football questions and answers article. Make sure you send your questions to SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com and put in the subject line Football Q/A. If you are a premium member to Spartan Nation please make sure you point that out, as those questions get answered first. Thank you.