Michigan State interim president John Engler said on Thursday that he doesn’t believe that the school has placed a bigger priority on winning over keeping students safe from sexual misconduct on campus.
Engler also said that coaches Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio have handled accusations about sexual assault made against players in the program with great personal integrity, while speaking at a breakfast event organized by the Detroit Free Press and for around an hour (h/t ESPN).
Engler answered questions about Michigan State’s culture, how it has handled sexual assault allegations in the past and the ongoing litigation regarding the university’s former university doctor and convicted sexual abuser Larry Nassar.
Engler criticized media coverage when he was asked if he was worried about a culture that prioritizes winning over other issues.
“I think in Dantonio and Izzo you’ve got two coaches with great personal integrity who run very clean programs,” Engler said. “That is not to say that everybody in those programs has always comported with what’s expected of them.”
Engler also believes that something like Nassar’s abuse will never again take place at the university.
“That door has been nailed shut and locked,” Engler said. “I’m very confident there.”