Valenti Calls ESPN Report On Alleged MSU Sex Assault ‘Unethical’

The Valenti Show
February 16, 2018 - 12:00 am
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(97.1 The Ticket) Mike Valenti is exhausted, tired of the stories ESPN is pushing out about Michigan State University.

“I’m just tired, ant I think that’s probably part of their plan, to wear voices of dissent out,” Valenti said. “You just get beaten down, you just get tired.”

In Valenti’s view, ESPN is bombarding the public with salacious headlines and retreading old stories to keep MSU in the headlines over its sex scandal — the largest one ever in the history of any American University. Dr. Larry Nassar, a sports medicine doctor at MSU and for USA Gymnastics, was convicted of being a serial sexual predator; 156 young girls testified that he molested them under the guise of medical care.

The sex case story seemed to end there. Then on the day Athletic Director Mark Hollis suddenly left his job, ESPN published a lengthy report detailing allegations of sexual abuse in the football and basketball programs, and inferring they were mishandled by coaches Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo.

Staffer Paula Levigne published another report Friday saying a member of Michigan State’s basketball team has been under investigation for criminal sexual conduct since the start of the fall semester. No details of the allegation were revealed, and Levigne writes MSU asked for a 10-day extension on ESPN’s Freedom of Information Act request.

She published the story anyway, without seeing the report.

Many have criticized ESPN’s ongoing reporting on the MSU case, including its new president John Engler, coach Tom Izzo — and 97.1 The Ticket’s afternoon host Mike Valenti.

“It is what a journalism professor would put up in front of a class as the definition of unethical behavior,” Valenti said about Levigne’s Friday report. The station requested an interview from Levigne, who declined. “If you do not have ethics, you are not a journalist at all.”

Valenti said the MSU story seems to be personal for Levigne and the timing of the report “convenient.”

“This really looks like a person who is upset, wants revenge, wants attention, and wants to somehow be vindicated because their initial report has been eviscerated by anybody with a  brain as nothing more than a hit job,” Valenti said.