ESPN: MSU athletic department hid culture of sexual assault inside basketball, football programs

ESPN's Outside the Lines published a report on Friday

EAST LANSING, MI - JANUARY 23: Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo and Michigan State Spartans head football coach Mark Dantonio on the bench prior to a game against the Maryland Terrapins at the Breslin Center on January 23, 2016 in…

LANSING - In the wake of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal, Michigan State University is under the microscope.

Related: Mark Dantonio denies ESPN's accusations about how sexual assault cases were handled

This week saw the resignations of the university president and athletic director - but it seems its only the beginning.

Related: Tom Izzo says he'll cooperate in any sexual assault investigations

ESPN's Outside the Lines published a report on Friday, detailing new information about what they called "a culture of sexual assault" inside the men's basketball and football programs. Here's some of the report:

Even MSU's most-recognizable figures, football coach Mark Dantonio and basketball coach Tom Izzo, have had incidents involving their programs, Outside the Lines has found.

Since Dantonio's tenure began in 2007, at least 16 MSU football players have been accused of sexual assault or violence against women, according to interviews and public records obtained by Outside the Lines. Even more, Dantonio was said to be involved in handling the discipline in at least one of the cases several years ago. As recently as June, Dantonio faced a crowd of reporters who were asking questions about four of his football players who had been accused of sexual assault. Six questions in, a reporter asked Dantonio how he had handled such allegations previously.

"This is new ground for us," Dantonio answered. "We've been here 11 years -- it has not happened previously."

Outside the Lines also has obtained never-before-publicized reports of sexual or violent incidents involving members of Izzo's storied basketball program, including one report made against a former undergraduate student-assistant coach who was allowed to continue coaching after he had been criminally charged for punching a female MSU student in the face at a bar in 2010. A few months later, after the Spartans qualified for the 2010 Final Four, the same assistant coach was accused of sexually assaulting a different female student.

The report detailed at least six cases of either physical or sexual assault involving MSU football players that were not previously known:

The previously unreported cases that Outside the Lines discovered include three reports of physical violence and three reported sexual assaults by football players. Each was investigated by campus police.

ESPN also reported about an MSU basketball player and student assistant under Tom Izzo, Travis Walton, was accused of misdemeanor assault and battery.

An East Lansing Police Department report includes statements from two witnesses who confirmed Thompson's account. Two days later, officers issued an arrest warrant for Walton for misdemeanor assault and battery. Walton pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Feb. 23, 2010, and the presiding judge ruled that he was "OK to travel with the MSU basketball team" while his case was pending.

On April 21, 2010, almost three weeks after the Spartans lost to Butler in the Final Four, Walton's assault and battery case was dismissed, and he instead pleaded guilty to a civil infraction for littering.

Read the full Outside the Lines report here.

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