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Michigan State athletic department aims to start new era

Spartans speak at football media day

EAST LANSING, Mich. – After months of investigations, resignations and uncertainty, the Michigan State athletic department is ready to begin a new era.

On Tuesday, at the annual football media day, both players and administrators said they're ready for the new era.

The Spartans have had a tumultuous year, but on the eve of a new football season, players were asked how they were affected.

Head football coach Mark Dantonio took the podium for the beginning of his 12th season at Michigan State.

"I think we established ourselves as a good football team last year, and we keep progressing," Dantonio said.

It's a different Dantonio than the one who went on the offensive after an ESPN article insinuated his program was covering up abuse by his players.

"I've been with him for 17 years, and he always does the right thing, and I haven't seen him waiver on that, ever," defensive coordinator Mike Tressel said.

In the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal, both MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and Athletic Director Mark Hollis resigned. In their place, interim President John Engler and Athletic Director Bill Beekman took over.

"Bill Beekman came in," linebacker Joe Bachie said. "He's talked to us. We're comfortable with him. He's willing to do anything to make any sports team succeed here."

"The other stuff going on at our university is outside of our control," safety Khari Willis said. "We just have to adapt."

Players said the offseason turbulence has brought them closer together, but they're more excited than ever to get back to football.

Dantonio was asked about the ongoing scandal at Ohio State. He said there are proper reporting channels at Michigan State and he would always report anything warranting such action. His players and coaches believe he would follow protocol.