Michigan State University, known for its leafy campus, years of basketball success and a heritage that goes back to Abraham Lincoln, is dealing with a different image these days: allegations of sexual assault by a sports doctor and a separate sexual assault complaint against three football players who have been evicted from campus housing.
Michigan State on Thursday announced a police investigation involving the players, whose names haven’t been released. At the same time, it suggested there might be problems with how members of the football staff responded after the complaint was made in January. One person has been suspended so far, and an outside law firm has been hired to focus solely on staff.
Even the marching band was hit with unflattering news this week. Michigan State said the longtime director was suspended for a week last year for sending inappropriate text messages to a female musician.
“When you see one incident, and it’s isolated, it’s much easier to get a handle. But to be now piling up like this, it’s very troubling,” said John Truscott, an alumnus and public relations strategist in Lansing. “From a PR perspective, this is a classic crisis management case made worse by more negative information emerging.”
1. Pitt Panthers (OOC Schedule)
The Panthers get the nod for the No. 1 spot because they’re the only Power 5 school that has to play two top-10 teams in Mark Schlabach’s updated Way-Too-Early Top 25. Not only that, but good luck in finding a more challenging nonconference swing in back-to-back weeks than on the road at No. 5 Penn State and then coming back home and tangling with No. 10 Oklahoma State. Each team has one of the top returning quarterbacks in college football — Trace McSorley at Penn State and Mason Rudolph at Oklahoma State — and the Nittany Lions will be especially motivated after losing to the Panthers a year ago.
Pitt Places Six on All-ACC Academic Football Team
The Panthers’ six honorees rank second in the 14-member football conference.
PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh placed six student-athletes on the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Academic Football Team announced today. The Panthers’ six honorees tied for the second most among the ACC’s 14 football schools.
Pitt’s 2016 All-ACC Academic Football Team honorees are senior offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty, sophomore offensive guard Alex Bookser, senior linebacker Matt Galambos, senior safety Reggie Mitchell, senior tight end Scott Orndoff and senior quarterback Nathan Peterman.
To be eligible for consideration, a student-athlete must have earned a 3.00 grade point average for the previous semester and maintained a 3.00 cumulative average during his undergraduate and/or graduate academic career.
“We are extremely proud of our All-ACC Academic honorees,” Coach Pat Narduzzi said. “We want our student-athletes to be achievers in everything they do and these six young men embody that quality. Their work ethic and commitment made them standouts on the field and in the classroom.”
Bisnowaty (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel) was honored on the All-ACC Academic Football Team for the fourth consecutive year. Owning a bachelor’s degree in communication, he spent this past year pursuing his graduate work in health and fitness. Bisnowaty is a two-time first-team All-ACC offensive lineman.
Bookser (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mt. Lebanon) started all 13 games at guard this past season and was Honorable Mention All-ACC. He is a communication major.
Galambos (Collingdale, Pa./The Haverford School) was a three-year starter at middle linebacker. He ranks among the top 20 tacklers in school history with 283 career stops. Galambos is a media and professional communications major.
Mitchell (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shady Side Academy) earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and is now enrolled in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business. He was a fixture in Pitt’s secondary during his career, playing both safety and corner.
Orndoff (Waynesboro, Pa./Seton-LaSalle) is a three-time All-ACC Academic Football team honoree. As a senior he enjoyed one of the most productive seasons ever by a Pitt tight end, compiling 35 catches for 579 yards (16.5 avg.) and five touchdowns. He earned his bachelor’s degree in administration of justice.
The most efficient passer in the ACC this past season, Peterman (Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail) was at the helm of the highest scoring offense in school history (40.9 ppg). He completed 60.5% of his passes for 2,855 yards with 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions (a 163.4 efficiency rating). Peterman is pursuing his MBA in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business.