Curtis Blackwell is no longer a member of Michigan State’s recruiting staff, and there’s at least one person inside the Spartans’ football building happy about that.
Blackwell interviewed, taken out in handcuffs and later suspended with pay in early February for his involvement in a sexual assault scandal involving Josh King, Donnie Corley and Demetric Vance. The three players were later dismissed from the program and are set to face charges, and Blackwell was let go at the end of last month.
But on Wednesday the Detroit Free Press obtained an interview an unnamed Michigan State coaching staff member conducted with MSU Police in which he lobbied multiple complaints against Blackwell’s status and conduct within the program.
Saying he was “not a Curtis guy,” the assistant accused Blackwell of improperly toeing the lines between his job as Michigan State’s director of college advancement and performance and his role as co-founder of the Sound Mind, Sound Body football camps, which he was (somehow) allowed to keep while on Michigan State’s payroll.
Those complaints include leveraging his status to pursue inappropriate relationships with parents of Michigan State players, taking a trip to a Spartans NCAA basketball tournament game on a booster’s dime and withholding critical information on SM/SB camp alums from the rest of the staff.
The unnamed MSU coach told police it was because “Curtis makes money off these kids’ parents,” through the Sound Mind, Sound Body camp, “so he is loyal to them.”
Whether or not the unnamed assistant or his colleagues approved of Blackwell’s work, the boss certainly did. Mark Dantonio hired Blackwell in 2013 and said he had no regrets about bringing him aboard. “I don’t have any regrets about bringing Curtis in. It’s just that things changed this year,” Dantonio said. “Up to that point, I think we were going in the same direction, but in the last four or five months I believed the philosophy just changed.”
Before his contract was allowed to expire on May 30, Blackwell enjoyed a raise to $129,000 a year after the Spartans’ Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff appearance following the 2015 season.