Ex-MSU Staffer Levels New Allegations Against Dantonio | Athletic Business

Ex-MSU Staffer Levels New Allegations Against Dantonio

Curtis Blackwell, a former Michigan State football staffer, has filed a second lawsuit against ex-coach Mark Dantonio, alleging NCAA violations.

According to The Detroit News, Blackwell, who is already suing Dantonio in federal court for wrongful termination, filed a second suit in Wayne County Circuit Court on Monday, alleging that he was the subject of racial discrimination when he was fired as recruiting coordinator in May of 2017. Blackwell is a black man.

Others named as defendants in the suit include former Michigan State University president Lou Anna K. Simon, former athletic director Mark Hollis, and current athletic director Bill Beekman. 

Blackwell’s new lawsuit claims that Dantonio ordered staff to secretly record an opponent’s practice — either via video or audio — without consent, and that Dantonio would make contact with players at other institutions about transferring. 

In addition, Blackwell’s lawyer Thomas Warnicke claims that Blackwell “has sustained injuries and damages including, but not limited to, loss of earnings and earning capacity; loss of career opportunities; humiliation and embarrassment; mental and emotional distress; humiliation, anxiety, frustration, helplessness, depression, sadness, indignation, sleeplessness, embarrassment, degradation, shame, nausea, headaches, grief, dejection, misery and physical harm, and loss of the ordinary pleasures of everyday life."

Blackwell was terminated after months of being suspended with pay while an investigation into how the athletic department responded to allegations of sexual assault by football players was being conducted. Blackwell was accused by university police of obstructing that investigation and was briefly arrested, but never charged.

The university hired a law firm to conduct the investigation, and ultimately cleared all football staffers except Blackwell, who had refused to be interviewed. In his court filing, Blackwell suggests that that made him the “perfect fall guy.”

In addition to the claims of wrongful termination and racial discrimination, Blackwell is suing for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

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