(97.1 The Ticket) – Following ESPN’s Outside the Lines story regarding allegations of sexual assault within the basketball and football programs at Michigan State University, one former Spartan is speaking out in his own defense.
With regard to MSU basketball, Outside the Lines referenced several alleged incidents that had already been made public. Two of them involved Travis Walton, a former player who joined Tom Izzo’s staff as a graduate assistant in 2010. In the span of one month that year, Walton was accused of punching a female student in the face at a bar and raping another at an off-campus apartment along with two MSU players.
Walton was reportedly fired by Michigan State shortly thereafter, though not before finishing out the season.
The following statement by Walton was sent to 97.1 the Ticket on Tuesday by Near Perfect Media:
“Over the last several days, allegations have been made about me during my tenure at Michigan State University. In this case, the facts are:
• I was never hired or fired by Michigan State University. In January of 2010, I was enrolled at Michigan State University, taking the necessary classes to complete my degree. Upon graduation, I returned to Europe to continue my basketball career.
• I never physically assaulted a woman at an East Lansing establishment, as alleged. While conversing with her, and without notice or provocation, she threw a drink at me, and I subsequently left the establishment. Two written statements from independent, objective witnesses were given to the City Attorney, and support my innocence. Ultimately, the determination to resolve the case was based on the merits of the investigation.
• I have never been charged with sexual assault and, to my knowledge, the alleged sexual assault was never reported to Michigan State University or the police. My encounters with this woman were more than just a single occasion,
and my actions with her were always consensual.
I stand by these facts, and will defend myself to the extent that the law allows. I apologize for the negative attention this has brought my Spartan family, the Clippers organization, and my family and friends.
– Travis Walton”
Addressing the issue on Sunday, Izzo was asked why Walton left the program as part of an intense line of questioning by a reporter from Outside the Lines.
“To be honest with you,” Izzo said, “I don’t know why he left. I know he went to Europe to play. As you know, I’ll still say I’ll cooperate with any investigation that’s made. I did it then, I did it before.”