John U. Bacon weighs in on Izzo & Dantonio

Submitted by redwhiteandMGOBLUE on January 30th, 2018 at 8:07 AM


On the difference between Izzo and Dantonio's situations

"I would make a distinction between Izzo's situation and Dantonio's," Bacon said. "As far as I know, Coach Izzo's got three situations to answer for. One of course is Travis Walton, the one being discussed, also Adreian Payne and Keith Appling were both part of an incident with a woman that looks horrible, and what happened will be a question worth answering for sure. We don't know about that. In Dantonio's case, he's got a ten-year pattern of 16 players accused of sexual assault over this stretch.

"I'm not dismissing in any way Izzo's situation, but it seems to be at least contained. Now, how bad that is, we're going to find out. I don't see Dantonio's as contained. I see it as a pattern that has been rolling out for a decade, class after class, and that, to me, is a different situation."

I'm not sure why Bacon is stating that Izzo has his situation "contained". Contained, because from what we know thus far, he's only dealing with Walton and Appling/Payne? That seems like a strange choice of phrase since we just found out more info yesterday when it was reported that Walton was living with Izzo when both of his issues happened. And who were the other two basketball players involved in the gang rape with Walton?  That doesn't seem like a contained situation to me. I do know that Izzo was frazzled and lost after these last two games and now he can expect to get grilled about Walton's living arrangement with him going forward.

Dantonio clearly has a massive culture and image problem to deal with and I'm fairly confident that more damning evidence will come out on the football team. And this narrative from spartys that Dantonio was so upright because he booted four assaulters last year is nonsense. Those guys were only booted from the team because of the Nassar ugliness and ESPN snooping around campus. Unlike Izzo, Dantonio has the sad luxury of not having to go in front of the media 2-3 times a week until the end of March.


You Only Live Thrice

January 30th, 2018 at 8:11 AM ^

This is a case of putting program over the safety of people. Unacceptable. I heard on NPR this morning that PSU has had to put close to a quarter billion in lawsuit settlements. It is anticipated MSU will have to pay close to a billion. I hope Michigan lawmakers make the right call in passing legislation to make sure taxpayer money isn’t funding those settlements


January 30th, 2018 at 11:32 AM ^

Even if one years worth of state aid went to pay for the settlement, the capex/opex costs for that fiscal year are still there. University's usually draw a single digit percentage from their endowment to pay for investments/scholarships/etc.

So the follow up question to this is - did PSU's endowment fund show a $200 million hole for that year? Normalize against endowment investment gains for that year as well so that it isolates the fund from gains smoothing over the loss.

Mr Miggle

January 30th, 2018 at 9:11 AM ^

No. Neither will MSU's. PSU has and MSU will continue to get state money, but I wouldn't expect any increases relative to what other state schools receive. If people want to argue their tax money is being used to pay legal fees and claims, there will probably be some truth to it. But it will be money that MSU is diverting from some other use, rather than taxpayers paying anything extra.

PSU battled with insurance companies. The insurance companies ended up only covering the earliest cases. PSU was on the hook for cases for abuse that occurred after they were aware of earlier incidents with Sandusky. I'd expect we'll see that same battle and split of costs at MSU.

Mr Miggle

January 30th, 2018 at 9:53 AM ^

Or they could dip into their endowment to reverse those budget cuts and no one would really notice any effect.

There are going to be other costs to MSU besides legal fees and settlements. They are at risk of losing federal money, donors, sponsors, future employees and students. There might not be direct costs involved to taxpayers, but their money will go to supporting a weaker institution. 


January 30th, 2018 at 9:55 AM ^

not, that I don't agree that all the victims should be compensated appropriately to help the healing (although, money alone will not heal. Hoping that the University truly commits to supporting these survivors as heros), but really don't want to see the whole university fall apart either.

There are plenty of students, faculty, and alumni that have nothing to do with this, and also shouldn't be punished for this.  In fact, some of the best responses have been from the current students in support of the victims and to a hard line against Simon. 

I hope Simon and Hollis get their day's in court, and I hope they bring in someone who can turn that culture around. As a Michigan resident I'd much prefer to see the culture changed and fixed, then the whole thing burnt down. 


January 30th, 2018 at 2:18 PM ^

People are giving the current MSU students way, way too much credit.

Sure, a handful are responding appropriately, but the fact that there aren’t thousands protesting outside the athletic department every day is damning to any claims of moral high ground.

Bottom line is it’s the easy thing, painless, for the students to vocally denounce Simon, Hollis, Nassar and Klages ... Come after their football and basketball, however, and suddenly they’re not so vocal. Bread and circuses....


January 30th, 2018 at 10:26 AM ^

This is an absurd and ridiculous statement. You want to destroy Michigan's largest university as an educational institution because of this? That goes so far too far it's not even funny. There are thousands of faculty, tens of thousands of other employees, and 50,000+ students that had absolutely nothing to do with this situation - either Nasser or whatever else may have gone on in the AD - and you want them ALL to suffer? This is a dumb comment... 


January 30th, 2018 at 2:33 PM ^

I’m approaching that point, tbh.

Seeing the way MSU has doubled down on D and Izzo this past week gives the impression that the culture of the place is rotten to the core.

Since there are that many people with a stake in MSU, why are there not thousands protesting every day until Izzo and D are gone?

I mean, shit. This board and a few hundred students got Brandon fired in a matter of days and for much less. The MSU stakeholders can’t be bothered to take some ownership when there’s utter cancer in their community? Fuck them, then. They’ve made their own bed.

Their silence is approaching a point of culpability and complicity.

If they can’t be bothered to set their own house in order, shut the doors and board it up. This is an embarrassment to our state.


January 30th, 2018 at 11:33 AM ^

While this has nothing to do with whether or not the victims deserve pay-outs (I, personally, think they do), I grew up upper-middle-class in a wealthy neighborhood. Far and away and almost without exception, the least happy people I knew were the richest. Moreover, the VERY LEAST happy people I have known in my life were not only the rich, but rich through no doing of their own (i.e. inherited wealth). Those folks are ALWAYS battling insecurity issues re: "what have I done - me, under my own power - with my life?" 

On the other hand, money buys jet skis. And have you ever seen anyone frowning while on a jet ski? 


January 30th, 2018 at 2:21 PM ^

hate jet skis. Odd, I know, for a person who grew up in Michigan, but motorized entertainment of any kind kind of makes me want to vomit.

If I'm at a lake, I want to hear the breeze, the lapping of the waves on the shore, the call of the seagulls, not the whining, mosquito-like buzz of some asshole doing circles where people could be swimming. I prefer sailboarding, kayaking, surfing, swimming, fishing etc. to jet skis or any other motorized way to have fun on the water

If I'm in the woods in winter, I want to hear the quiet, see the animals, maybe do some snow-shoeing or cross-country skiing - not zoom around scaring everything with my snow machine. 

One thing is to need these machines. I have made lots of use of 4-wheelers to move shit across vast expanses of remote Candian woods, but we didn't get on those things just to entertain ourselves. 

Anyway, that's just me, I know I'm probably ofending a bunch of people here. But I remember when jet skis first came out and ruined a day at the beach for me - I came this close to monkey-wrenching that thing with a bunch of sand to the gas tank. We're so fuckin loud and obnoxious.


January 30th, 2018 at 3:52 PM ^

trying a jet ski on lake michigan with 6 ft waves.  The noise is drowned out by the waves, and it is a pretty big thrill to get air on those things. 

Sailing and canoeing around a quiet small lake is also great.  


January 30th, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

Copying a previous comment regarding "taxpayer money"

I've seen this comment before, and want to address it. There are several steps between the payment of taxes, MSU receiving their small share, and its allocation.

First, your taxes will not increase due to this.

Second, state allocations to MSU will not increase due to this.

Third, programs and funding within MSU will probably be cut due to the magnitude of financial penalties. I wouldn't want to work at MSU after damages are announced; RIP university retirement plans...

If I had to guess, I'd say that MSU is already looking at a financial strategy - a loan or bond - to raise the necessary payment funds. Also, you can be sure that MSU attorneys will seek annuitization of their damages, i.e., $30m per victim paid out over 20 years with an insanely high discount rate for a lump sum option


January 30th, 2018 at 8:15 AM ^

It is "contained" as in it does not look like a behavior pattern, where it happens regularly.

I can see his point, but the details of Izzo's case is pretty horrific.


January 30th, 2018 at 8:54 AM ^

is a good way to describe it.  It doesn't sound like a pattern like with Dantonio, but at least from what we know now, it seems like those few isolated incidents may be more damning in that Izzo was intimately involved, whereas Dantonio might have just been knowingly turning a blind eye.

They're both done either way.


January 30th, 2018 at 12:00 PM ^

seems like a distinction without a lot of difference. Dantonio manages a lot more kids, so patterns may be easier to espy here. But if Izzo was intimately involved with sheltering kids who performed heinous acts, befriended them and even rewarded them in the aftermath. . . for me enough is established about the basketball issues that I would urge Izzo to move on. I haven't seen the press focus so closely on Dantonio and football yet, though I may have missed the stories. 


January 30th, 2018 at 12:12 PM ^

I keep seeing "they're both done" and I keep not seeing any resignation letters.

I'll believe it when I see it.  Given the lengths MSU went to in order to protect a gymnastics program, why should we believe it would be any less for their crown jewel?  Presidents are fairly easily replaced.  So are general counsels.  And their alumni and students know this.  I'll believe that "public sentiment" (or whatever it is that's supposed to force these resignations) can pry Izzo and Dantonio from MSU's cold dead hands as soon as I see it, and not before.