There was a thread 3 pages back now on who was your least favorite Big Ten coach. Naturally, a lot of people said Dantonio. However, after this post got bumped back to the third page, this MSU fan piped in with this gem of a post and I didn't want people to miss a chance to respond. Seeing as it was on the third page and done way after the thread was started, I figured people missed it. Please respond, and enjoy.
"As the token MSU fan here, I always feel the need to stand up for my alma mater when it's being unfairly maligned, so I think I'll respond to this (though I know it's sort of wishful thinking to hope most of you will be swayed)...
- Negative recruiter: This can be said about literally any college recruiter anywhere. It's such a "squishy" term that people can label many, many kinds of standard recruiting practices as negative if they want to. I also heard one DI coach say, "Don't want other guys to bad mouth your team? Don't screw up," which I think is largely true. Plus, considering the scrapbook of negative MSU newspaper clippings Carr liked to share with recruits and their parents, I'm not sure it's a good one for M fans to throw out there.
- Doesn't care about academics - graduation rates at Cincy and MSU lowest in recent history for both schools: OK, I'm calling 100% straight up BS on this. Provide a link to an honest-to-God journalistic source, or you're just another rival fan plain lying about the other team.
- "One you're fine, two you're out" policy encourages goonish behavior: Playing Devil's Advocate for a second, is that as opposed to UM's "One you're fine, two you're fine" policy (see Stonum, Darryl)? Look, Dantonio gets dinged by you guys for this, but really, what else is he supposed to do? Pre-emptively kick guys off the team because they might screw up? As a parent and an educator myself, I think what he does is exactly what you're supposed to do when a kid screws up: teach them how to do it right and give them another chance. If they screw up again, the consequences get more severe. How does that "encourage goonish behavior"?
- Threatens/bribes high school coaches in state: OK, another fabrication? Again - link, or you're just a liar.
- Thuggish behavior of his players is a disgrace to conference: I know you all have your opinions about Rather Hall, but the reality is a lot more complicated than you guys want it to be. First of all, the "brawl" wasn't even a brawl. I know, "Ski masks!" is a fun idea to throw around, but that's been pretty much entirely debunked (there's video of the entire event out there somewhere). Sure, two guys assaulted some fraternity brothers who had jumped one of them the night before (and who were properly shown the door), but there were no real injuries caused to anyone (I believe someone complained of "scratches" and another of a "sore neck") and the entire thing was over in somewhere around a minute. Were Division I football players brawling - being large, muscle-bound dudes prone to aggression - I'd venture to guess there would be some damage caused and it might be difficult to stop once started. Neither of those is true. Second, Stuart Dunnings, the DA, is a UM grad who routinely throws the stiffest possible punishments at MSU athletes. Third, the majority of the players were facing this aggressive DA who was threatening serious jailtime and thus decided to plead down to get things over with ASAP. I mean, BJ Cunningham pled to "assaulte" and "conspiracy to commit assault" because he held someone away from a teammate and tried but failed to kick someone else. Outside of Winston and Jenrette, the other guys have similar stories, which jibes with the whole "no injuries, over quickly" elements. So, while having five guys on your team who are guilty of misdemeanors isn't good (the others were either booted or transferred), the whole idea that MSU has more criminals than other college football teams is simply not true. In fact, I'd wager that UM has had a similar number of legal incidents in the past four years (though not as many guys convicted, which is another story all together).
- Sets a classless example for fans toward rivals, encouraging bad sportsmanship: Are you talking about his spat with Mike Hart? I know you guys have a different view than I do (naturally) but does Hart get any blame from you guys for being classless? I mean, I know he's one of the best backs you guys have ever had and all, but to borrow a phrase from my 3rd grader, "He started it!" Seriously though, while I didn't like everything Dantonio said in response, I think the sum of his comments was pretty much perfect, all things considered. UM's players and staff had been disrespectful toward MSU for years, culminating in Hart's comments, and he was calling them out for it and throwing down a gauntlet. I think if he were given the chance to go back in time and amend what he said, he'd probably cut the "What is he, this tall?" crack (which I agree was in poor taste), but probably nothing else. Or is there something else about it you guys have a problem with?
OK, that's probably more than most of you will read, and I probably didn't change anyone's mind, but I felt compelled to try, regardless. Enjoy!"