EAST LANSING — Mark Dantonio provided some insight into the foundations of his Michigan State football program to a group of business professionals Thursday.
Many of the same ideals he stressed to them applied to the recent situation with 2013 signee Jay Harris, who won’t attend MSU in order to pursue a career as a rapper.
â€śThere are certain expectations that we expect to be held if you’re a Michigan State football player,â€ť Dantonio said of Harris. â€śYou gotta have a commitment, you gotta communicate and there’s gotta be trust. When there’s a breakdown in those areas, you have to part ways.â€ť
The Spartans head coach stopped short of saying it was the program’s choice to terminate the scholarship offer to the 5-foot-11 wide receiver from Downingtown East in Exton, Pa. Harris has a number of videos of him on his YouTube channel under the moniker Jay DatBull in which he delivers explicit raps and appears to be smoking marijuana.
â€śWhen the breakdown becomes severe enough that it’s quantified by the people who are involved in his daily life, then it’s time to make a decision,â€ť Dantonio said. â€śThat’s what we stand for. If you can’t do those things from the get-go, and if it’s collaborated by the people who work with him on the grass roots area â€“ which is where he’s from â€“ then what are we doing?
â€śWe need to reassess, and that’s what we did â€“ we reassessed.â€ť
A spokesman for the school Tuesday called it a â€śmutual decisionâ€ť that Harris would not enroll at MSU. Harris told Yahoo! Sports 1560 Radio in Houston on Thursday that MSU did not pull his scholarship, but that he informed assistant coach Brad Salem that he was going to pursue his music career instead of football.
â€śWhen there’s writing on the wall and there’s evidence of a lack in those three areas â€“ hey, nothing might be wrong, but it’s a mutual lack,â€ť Dantonio said. â€śYou gotta bring people here that are like-minded. And if they’re not, then they’re not gonna be happy.â€ť
MICHIGAN TIMES TWO: Dantonio talked briefly about MSU hosting Michigan twice in a row for the first time ever.
â€śI never even put that together,â€ť he said. â€śWe’re gonna get ready to play them this year, and the year after we’ll get ready to play them. It’ll be a great atmosphere, and it’ll be exciting to have them here two years in a row.â€ť
DANTONIO ON BOWLS: Dantonio said he welcomes the Big Ten’s seemingly impending shuffle of its bowl roster to include the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco. He thinks it would give fans of those teams an opportunity to get to a new locale and for the schools to sell more tickets.
But it comes with a caveat â€“ it must be against quality competition.
â€śI think as long as the alignment within those bowl games are BCS-type bowl games, then it’d be excited to play them,â€ť Dantonio said. â€śTo me, if we go play in New York City or San Francisco, I want those to be tied with the Pac-10 (for example). If we’re gonna do new bowls, I would think that would be the idea behind it. â€ť
RUNNING RILEY: Dantonio said redshirt freshman Riley Bullough will enter summer camp at running back, then the coaching staff will make a determination what works best for the team after the first week of practices.
â€śI think he’s got enough basis and foundation to play linebacker. We need to see how Jon Reschke and Shane Jones come in and how our other guys are,â€ť Dantonio said. â€śAnd we need to see how Riley is relative to the running backs coming in. But we need to have a back, we need to have a guy.â€ť