I don’t normally relish the departure of a coach, but let me say that I take special pleasure in the downfall of Mark Dantonio and Michigan State. Unfortunately, Michigan’s rivals are not only Michigan’s rivals, but they have also been led by despicable leaders and human beings in recent years, including Gene Smith, Urban Meyer, and Jim Tressel at Ohio State, and…well…just about everyone in administration at Michigan State.
I have numerous friends who went to Michigan State and spent a good chunk of my undergraduate time visiting MSU’s campus. I grew up as a Michigan fan and have never liked MSU, but at one time, I had a grudging respect for them.
That faded a long time ago.
Dantonio has proven himself to be a cheater and terrible human being for years and years. Here are just a few of his issues:
- He recruited known troublemaker Auston Robertson to Michigan State and put people on MSU’s campus in danger, and Robertson predictably attacked someone on campus.
- That followed a steady string of letting convicted criminals back onto the team, including Delton Williams and Glenn Winston.
- Dantonio led a program that included several players being busted for performance enhancing drugs, including Joe Bachie and Max Bullough.
- Dantonio promoted a dirty on-the-field program that twisted ankles, twisted heads, head-hunted, committed late hits, etc.
- Dantonio led the hand-in-hand thuggish pre-game walk that led to an altercation with Michigan’s Devin Bush, Jr. in 2018.
- Dantonio’s “war of words” with Mike Hart while insulting Hart about his height showed us all very early on what kind of immaturity lingered within his mind.
- Dantonio somewhat infamously degraded former Michigan assistant coach Jeff Hecklinski at a football clinic and bullied him off the stage.
These are just a few of the Dantonio’s infractions over the years, and I didn’t even mention the treatment of his staffers and recruiting violations that he is now being investigated for, which seem to have forced him into a resignation. Nor does it include the fact that he waited until approximately two weeks after a $4.3 million contract bonus, only to abandon his recruits and program on the day before National Signing Day (albeit National Signing Day #2 for the 2020 class).
Dantonio is a do-whatever-it-takes-to-win-two-thirds-of-the-time trash human being running away with his tail between his legs. This is an appropriately awkward and transparent departure for a coach who perpetually put his team in precarious positions but somehow escaped consequences until now, and he walks away with nice parting gift from the athletic department, which perhaps ensures that he will keep his mouth shut about all the bad things that have yet to come to light.