Suspended MSU staffer Blackwell has contract extended

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Suspended football staffer Curtis Blackwell has had his contract extended through the end of May, a Michigan State spokesman confirmed on Friday.

Blackwell, who heads Michigan State’s recruiting, has been suspended with pay since it was announced on Feb. 9 the MSU Police were investigating an alleged sexual assault that involved three players on the football team.

Those players, who remain unidentified, have also been suspended as the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office continues to review the case before it makes a decision on any possible charges.

In the meantime, the university is also conducting a Title IX investigation as well as an independent review of the football staff’s handling of the incident.

Blackwell has not made any comment since he was suspended and coach Mark Dantonio has not talked about any individual involved in the investigation.

“I can’t comment on an investigative matter,” Dantonio said in late March, just days before Michigan State’s spring game. “I’m not gonna get into any specifics about any individual.”

It’s just one off-field problem Michigan State has been dealing with since the end of the 2016 season. Since then, linebacker Jon Reschke left the team after making what he called an inappropriate comment to a former teammate while defensive end Demetrius Cooper was charged with misdemeanor assault after spitting in the face of an East Lansing code enforcement officer.

Most recently, defensive end Auston Robertson was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and was kicked off the team by Dantonio while defensive back Vayante Copeland continues to deal with a charge of marijuana possession that stems back to November 2015.

Last month, Copeland was given a third chance to enter a diversionary program, according to 54B District Court records.

The records show his request to enter the diversionary program were rejected in both August 2016 and February 2017. The case was again dismissed in March and records show that Copeland entered the diversionary program.