Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio’s annual contract extension was approved Friday morning by the school’s board of trustees.
Dantonio’s contract with the Spartans now runs through 2024. In 2016, he signed a six-year rolling contract, which stipulates that one year is added to his deal on an annual basis. According to reporters at Friday’s board meeting in East Lansing, the trustees did not discuss the contract at any length before approving the regularly scheduled extension.
If the board had decided not to approve the annual extension, Dantonio’s contract still would have been good through 2023.
Dantonio, who has been Michigan State’s head coach since 2007, sharply denied accusations recently that he had mishandled sexual assault claims against players.
A former sexual assault counselor at the school told Outside the Lines that complaints about student-athletes were sometimes handled by athletic department staff and coaches. Dantonio addressed the report during a brief news conference the day it was published.
“I’m here tonight to say that any accusations of my handling of any complaints of sexual assault individually are completely false,” Dantonio said. “Every incident reported in that article was documented by either police or the Michigan State Title IX office. I have always worked with the proper authorities when dealing with cases of sexual assault.”
Dantonio’s first annual extension came last February, shortly after Michigan State suspended three football players who were the subject of an open sexual assault investigation. The players — Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance — were eventually charged with crimes and dismissed from the team on the day they were charged.
At the time of that extension, then-university president Lou Anna Simon told reporters that the board’s decision to move forward with Dantonio was a sign that they had no concerns about his conduct or his future with the program.
“My sense is that if we had anything to be concerned about, we wouldn’t have moved forward with the action today,” Simon told reporters after a board meeting in February 2017.