Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio talks about suspended players for first time

9:48 PM, Dec 5, 2009   |    comments
Mark Dantonio addresses the media during a press conference
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(BY SHANNON SHELTON, DETROIT FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER)EAST LANSING - On Saturday, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio addressed for the first time the Nov. 22 on-campus altercation that involved members of the football team.

"Obviously, I'm very, very disappointed," Dantonio said. "I'm extremely disappointed about our choices as people and not making the right choice. I think it's a very traumatic experience for this program and we've got to be able to get past this situation. It's also devastating for the families that are involved in this."

During a short news conference Saturday, Dantonio said although the police investigation would determine the nature of involvement, if any, by the eight suspended players identified as present at the incident, none would be allow to travel and play in MSU's bowl game. The same would apply to any other players potentially identified as being present.

"The opportunity to play on this football team and in a bowl game is a privilege, and not a given right," Dantonio said. "With that said, all those present at the incident in question will remain on indefinite suspension and will not make the trip nor play in the bowl game."

MSU will learn its bowl destination on Sunday.

Sophomore running back Glenn Winston and junior safety Roderick Jenrette, whom MSU identified as being present at the altercation at a fraternity potluck in MSU's Rather Hall, are permanently dismissed from the team. Dantonio said that players who have received second chances for past issues face a "zero tolerance" policy if they are involved in future incidents, which is why Winston and Jenrette were kicked off the team.

Winston served four months in jail for his involvement in an altercation that injured an MSU hockey player, while Jenrette was asked to take a leave of absence in 2008 to handle personal issues.

As for the overall matter, Dantonio compared it to a hurricane.

"As I described this to our football team last week, it's like a hurricane," he said. "A hurricane blew in, on Thanksgiving, there was a little bit of the eye of the storm and then it breaks up. The sun's going to come out here soon, we'll be able to resolve this and be able to move forward."

MSU spokesman Terry Denbow said that the police investigation continues through the weekend, and is expected to conclude early next week.

Contact SHANNON SHELTON: 313-223-3215 or slshelton@freepress.com.


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