Big Ten

Three Michigan State football players dismissed after criminal sexual conduct charges

Three Michigan State football players were dismissed from the program Tuesday after criminal sexual conduct charges were filed against all three.

Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance were all announced as no longer being with the program Tuesday morning after charges of criminal sexual assault were filed, the result of a months-long investigation into a January incident that has hung over the program for quite some time.

The three players were suspended months ago along with a member of head coach Mark Dantonio’s staff, former recruiting coordinator Curtis Blackwell, whose contract Michigan State opted not to renew last month.

“With the criminal sexual conduct charges filed against Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance, I have decided that regardless of the final outcome of the criminal process, these three individuals have been dismissed from our program effective immediately,” Dantonio said in a statement Tuesday.

“When we choose student-athletes to come to MSU, we enter into a relationship with them and their families, and we welcome them into ours. We emphasize that success on the field is not enough, as I made clear when all three individuals were suspended four months ago upon us learning of the allegations. They also must embrace our core principles, which include integrity, respect and accountability. The individuals in this case put themselves in a compromising position and did not live up to the standards we have outlined for our program.

“Sexual assault has no place in our community, and I want to share my deep concern for the young woman affected and her family.

“This is an extremely challenging situation that we have taken very seriously and has affected everyone in this program. The high standards I have established for this program will not change, and the values that we teach to everyone in this program will be enforced. I expect all of our players and staff to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the ideals of this university.”

King, a Darien native, and Corley were the two top-rated members of Dantonio’s 2016 recruiting class, with Vance highly rated, as well. King, a defensive end, played in nine games as a freshman last season, starting two. Corley, a wide receiver, racked up 453 receiving yards and caught three touchdown passes as a freshman last season. Vance redshirted last season.

This is one of two investigations to result in sexual criminal conduct charges for Michigan State football players this offseason. Defensive lineman Auston Robertson, also a highly rated member of that 2016 recruiting class, was charged with sexual criminal conduct and dismissed from the program in April.

Monday brought the announcement that prosecutors would seek charges against three unnamed football players as the result of police’s criminal investigation. Also Monday, the law firm doing an external investigation into how the football program handled this offseason’s allegations announced that Dantonio handled everything properly and that Blackwell violated school policy with his actions.