It’s not been a very good look off the field for the Michigan State football program the past couple of weeks.
A long-time MSU commit didn’t put pen to paper on National Signing Day because he was sitting in jail. Earlier this week, a projected starter at right tackle announced that he had lost his love and passion for football and was walking away from the sport. Earlier today, the university announced that a football staffer is one of four individuals suspended after allegations of sexual assault surfaced.
Now it’s Demetrius Cooper adding to the off-field carnage as, the Detroit News is reporting, the Spartans defensive lineman was charged with assault & battery. The single misdemeanor count stems from a late-October incident in which it’s alleged that Cooper spit in the face of a parking officer.
From the News‘ report:
The incident occurred around 8:50 p.m. Oct. 30, 2016, when an officer with Parking and Code Enforcement said he saw a car parked illegally in front of Noodles and Co. in East Lansing. The officer issued a citation for impeding traffic and was confronted by Cooper, 21, who came out of the restaurant when he saw he was being given a ticket.
According to the report, PACE officer David Dalen explained the citation and Cooper headed back into the restaurant, at which time he advised Cooper he could receive another citation if the Chevrolet Impala remained parked illegally. That’s where the stories differ.
Dalen claims Cooper said, “I’m going to spit in your face. I should spit on you right now,” at which time police say he did spit on Dalen.
Cooper claimed to police that he told the officer he should spit on him but never did. An arrest warrant was issued nearly a month after the incident following an investigation.
Last season, Cooper started 11 games. He’s played in 38 games total heading into his fifth-year senior season.
MSU officials have not yet commented on the off-field development involving Cooper.