Former Michigan State running back Madre London is heading south to continue playing college football. The former Spartan running back announced his decision to join Tennessee with a message on his Twitter account Sunday evening.
London is the third graduate transfer player to join Tennessee in the past week. Just a couple days prior to London’s announcement, Tennessee had officially welcomed former Stanford quarterback Keller Chryst to the program as a graduate transfer. London is the third graduate transfer to join the Vols this offseason, and the second player from the Big Ten to head to Knoxville. Former Michigan kicker Ryan Tice confirmed his decision last week as well.
Graduate transfers are eligible to play immediately with their new programs, which means Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has been busy adding potential ingredients to the Tennessee offense by using graduate transfers to his advantage.
London was Michigan State’s third-leading rusher in 2017 with 304 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He will immediately provide a much-needed boost to the depth of the running back position in Tennessee.
As Michigan State seeks to remedy a sexual assault scandal that’s enveloped the university in recent months, the university’s head football coach is hoping to be a part of the solution.
Coming off their sixth 10-win season in the last eight years, the Spartans kicked off spring practice Tuesday. Ahead of that, Mark Dantonio addressed the media and, not surprisingly, was asked about the sexual assault culture on the campus that’s dominated headlines of late.
… I want to commit to being part of the solution,” he said. “I made my statement on how I feel about things. Hopefully we’re healing as a community and healing as a university. It’s a step-by-step process. A lot of time spring is the time for a new beginning, so I’ll use that in this case as well. It’s an opportunity to grow and get better at everything that we’re doing and looking at. I think (interim president) John Engler has done a great job thus far organizationally in terms of confronting the issue.
At the height of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal, Dantonio’s own actions were called into question.
In the aftermath of Mark Hollis “retiring” as the athletic director at MSU late last month, an ESPN Outside the Lines report alleged that, since 2007, at least 16 Spartans football players have been accused of sexual assault or violence against women; the beginning of that timeline coincides with Dantonio taking over the Spartans football program as head coach, a position he’s held the past 11 seasons. In the damning report, it was alleged that, in at last one instance, Dantonio personally handled a claim made against one of his players instead of going through the proper Title IX channels.
After that report surfaced, speculation was rampant that Dantonio would be stepping down. In his only public comments until meeting with the media Tuesday, Dantonio at the time vehemently denied that he would be resigning, with a portion of his statement asserting “that any accusations of my handling of any complaints of sexual assault individually are completely false.
Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the university’s Board of Trustees had approved what’s become a ritual one-year contract extension for Dantonio. He’s now signed through the 2024 season.
Another day, another Power Five player has decided to take his leave from where he kicked off his collegiate playing career.
The latest to do so is Darien Tipps-Clemons, who took to his personal Twitter account Monday morning to announce that he has decided to transfer from Michigan State. The linebacker posted a letter from the university’s compliance department in which it’s stated that MSU “grants permission [to schools] to contact Darien Tipps-Clemons regarding a potential transfer and participating in football at your institution.”
The letter made no mention of any restrictions placed on the player’s movement.
A three-star member of the Spartans’ 2017 recruiting class, Tipps-Clemons was rated as the No. 45 player at any position in the state of Ohio. He took a redshirt as a true freshman.
Tipps-Clemons won’t be seeing the field this season either as he will have to sit out 2018 to satisfy NCAA transfer rules if he moves to another FBS program. He’ll then have three years of eligibility to use beginning with the 2019 season.
Despite recent negative headlines connected to the football program in the fallout of the Larry Nassar scandal, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio officially had his contract extended by one year on Friday. Dantonio’s contract now runs through the 2024 season.
The extension approval from the board of trustees for Dantonio has been an annual formality in East Lansing in recent years. As written in the contract, Dantonio’s contract is essentially automatically extended on an annual basis unless the university provides Dantonio advance notice there will be no extension given by the middle of January. In the event Dantonio is informed he will not receive an extension, he is then given the option to retire for a reduced buyout. Even if the school had not given Dantonio the extension, he would still be under contract through 2023.
Dantonio is coming off a 10-3 season that included wins against Penn State and Michigan as well as a Holiday Bowl victory over Washington State this past season, which was a nice rebound after a rough 3-9 season the previous season. But the success of the season was quickly washed away from the mindset recently as Dantonio has had to defend himself against reports suggesting he essentially looked the other way when football players were accused of sexual assault at Michigan State.
Michigan State remains under investigation by the NCAA following the trial of former sports doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced up to 175 years in prison for prolonged abuse of gymnasts and other athletes at Michigan State and with USA Gymnastics over the course of his career. It is specifically known if Dantonio’s program is a target of the investigation as the NCAA looks to review the entire athletics department at Michigan State.
Dantonio is 100-45 in 11 seasons at Michigan State. The 2018 season will mark his 12th year on the job.
Last month, LJ Scott confirmed that he would be eschewing early entry into the NFL draft and returning to Michigan State for one more season. This month, the Spartans’ backfield has been hit by some not-so-unexpected attrition.
Madre London took to his personal Twitter account Friday to announce that he has decided to transfer out of Mark Dantonio‘s football program. While no specific reason for the parting of ways was given in his social media missive, the fact that Scott returned and London will be entering his final season of eligibility likely played a significant role in the decision.
London is on schedule to graduate from MSU in May, which will allow him to play for another FBS program in 2018.
As a redshirt freshman, London started the first six games of the 2015 season before an ankle injury opened the door for Scott to take over the job as the bell-cow in the Spartans’ running game. Scott led the Spartans in rushing each of the past three seasons — 898 in 2017, 994 in 2016, 699 in 2015 — while London ran for a combined 924 yards in that span. Nearly 400 (399) of London’s career yards came in the first six games of that 2015 season.
Last year, London was third on the team with 304 yards on the ground while accounting for three of his eight career touchdowns.