Photo of Mark Dantonio on recruiting trip calls deposition into question
Picture raises questions about deposition denial, possible recruiting violation
EAST LANSING, Mich. – A newly surfaced photo of Mark Dantonio on a recruiting trip is calling into question something the former Michigan State football coach said while under oath.
The picture shows Dantonio and former recruiting coordinator Curtis Blackwell inside the home of a five-star recruit. That’s a potential NCAA violation, and during a recent deposition, Dantonio denied it happening.
“He has a variety of issues that he is going to have to contend with now,” Local 4 legal analyst Neil Rockind said.
Rockind said Dantonio could be found in contempt of court or even charged with perjury if officials determine he lied under oath during a deposition.
He was asked if Blackwell went on home recruiting visits even though NCAA rules state he’s not allowed.
“Did he ever go with you to visit any recruits at their homes?” Dantonio was asked.
“No,” he said.
“Would that be a violation of NCAA rules?” he was asked.
“Yes,” Dantonio said.
The recently surfaced photo shows Blackwell on the left side, and the recruit’s mother said in an affidavit that the photo was taken during an in-home recruiting visit with Dantonio. She said she even made breakfast for the MSU coaches.
Dantonio was being deposed because Blackwell is using Dantonio and Michigan State for wrongful termination after he was let go from the program.
Attorney Erika D. Morgan released the following statement on behalf of the mother, La Keshia Neal:
“Ms. Neal will not provide any additional statements than what she has already provided regarding this case. It is clear that her affidavit provided to the legal team for the Plaintiff has been reviewed and judged by the media and the court of public opinion. Ms. Neal was contacted by the Plaintiff’s legal team regarding this case. She has not sought any attention on her own, and would like to be left alone regarding this case. However, it is Ms. Neal’s position that she has never contacted the newspaper, television networks or any media outlets regarding this story. To paint her in any light different than her truthful statements regarding this incident, is unfounded. Ms. Neal would like to have privacy for herself and her family at this time as this matter does not concern Ms. Neal exclusively. Ms. Neal does not have any pending matters against Michigan State or any of its affiliates. Any further questions can be directed to her Attorney.”
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