(97.1 The Ticket) Mike Valenti had a lot to say about the Michigan State University scandal Monday morning … and he led off his show on 97.1 The Ticket saying his opinion may not be popular.
“I’m not a blind defender, I’m not an apologist,” said Valenti, an MSU alum. “I’m going to shoot you straight.”
He called ESPN’s reporting on the MSU scandal “disgusting” and “dishonest.”
Notably, ESPN released a scathing report the same day Athletic Director Mark Hollis announced his sudden departure. ESPN lay blame for an atmosphere of seemingly rampant sexual assault at the doorstep of coaches Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio.
A defiant Dantonio the same night denied the report contained any new information.
The report from Outside the Lines on ESPN said it had uncovered six previously unreported cases of physical violence/sexual assault involving members of the football team from 2009 to 2014. Three of the cases allege rape. At least 16 football players have been accused of sexual assault or violence against women in Dantonio’s 11-year tenure as head coach, per the report.
“I’m here tonight to say that any accusations of my handling of any complaints of sexual assault, individually, are completely false,” Dantonio said after the ESPN report. “Every incident reported in that (ESPN) article was documented by either police or the Michigan State Title IX office.
Izzo was also grilled by an ESPN reporter this weekend about his reaction to alleged sex assaults committed by his players. “I’ve cooperated with every investigation. Every one. And I will continue to cooperate with every investigation. Every one,” he told the reporter.
For his part, Valenti blames ESPN.
“I think it’s an absolute hit piece on Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio and when you’re splicing in cuts of that vile, monstrous scumbag Larry Nassar and somehow now trying to draw conclusions by repackaging old news, things that were investigated, things that were handled. I’m sorry that’s not journalism, that’s TMZ.”
He added ESPN didn’t have proof or documentation and was trying to destroy Izzo and Dantonio with opinions. The co-author of the ESPN story talked to the 97.1 The Ticket morning show about the report, which you can hear HERE.
“That ESPN report, very convenient … Nassar gets sentenced, ‘OK roll it…’ You’re tying things together that you have no proof belong together,” he said. He added that he hopes anyone who empowered Nassar experience the same fate he did. Nassar was sentenced last week to up to 175 years in prison for carrying out what’s been called the largest sex abuse scandal in any university’s history.
ESPN’s report included information from former Michigan State sexual assault counselor Lauren Allswede, who left the university in 2015 over what she said were frustrations about how administrators handled sexual assault complaints.
“No Spartan is out here defending that, no Spartan is out here apologizing for bad people but repackaging old news and calling it ‘Spartan Secrets,’ that’s no more than opportunistic TMZ hit piece garbage. It’s part of the reason that company is going out of business.
He added, “I want Lauren Allswede to provide proof, I want to see Lauren Allswede’s documentation. I want ESPN to bring real answers to light because then, guess what, I’ll be the one to bring the match to burn my own school down.”