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Every Big Ten East Division team’s biggest question after spring football

Spring Football has come to an end, and the East division has stolen all the attention, but did all the questions get answered?



Michigan State Spartans

Can MSU Put Off-Field Issues Out of Their Mind?

There is no doubt that a dark cloud hung over the Michigan State Spartans all spring football camp long. It was also clear that everyone involved believed that the off-field issue that shut spring camp off from the outside world wasn’t going away anytime soon.

Between a coach on a continued suspension and at least three players involved in a sexual assault investigation, MSU chose to not allow the media or even its own cameras in to spring practices. It was the right thing to do to protect those who have yet to be formally accused. It was also the right thing to do to try to get some sense of normalcy for those who weren’t involved in the alleged incident.

However, everyone also believed that the incident would’ve had a resolution by the end of spring camp. That didn’t happen, and Dantonio faced the media for the pre-spring game press conference having to answer anything but on-field questions.

Since the spring game there has been another sexual assault charge, with the player already kicked off the team, and the dark cloud continues to grow over the Spartans football program. It certainly was a zero-tolerance policy for Auston Robertson, who has a history of violence and came to MSU with certain criteria to meet to stay on the football team.

At least Dantonio and Co. didn’t sweep any of this under the rug and met the investigations head on with as much transparency as possible. Robertson was officially charged, kicked off the football team and a blow-by-blow of what was expected of and not met by Robertson was made public.

Given the serious nature of the investigation and all that it has detracted from for this team, Robertson’s alleged action were a serious disappointment to the athletic department. At some point the players have to wake up to what is going on and rise to a different standard of action.

Is Dantonio in the position to make that happen seems to be the growing question this offseason.

Let’s not forget this is also a group that suffered through a surprising 3-9 season last year. Getting over that and this offseason isn’t going to be easy, but perhaps the football field can be the place of refuge for said players and coaches.

We simply don’t have a lot of answers to what is happening on or off the field at this point, and that isn’t good news on either front.

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Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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