In analyzing the Max Bullough suspension going into the Rose Bowl, I decided to take a look back at what Coach Mark Dantonio said after the Rather Hall incident in 2009. It was the watershed moment for him and set the tone for how he would handle disciplinary situations in his program.
Here’s what he said:
“I would describe this like it’s like a hurricane… the end of the storm is pushing through… hopefully, the sun is going to come out here soon, and we will be able to resolve this and we will be able to move forward.
I’m a football coach at a major college institution, but in the pure sense of it, I’m a teacher, a mentor and someone who wants to try and take their players, help them play good football on that field and take their players and allow them to be self-sufficient young men when they leave here.
I think it’s extremely important that our football fans and our players and our players’ families and everybody associated with this football program understand that we are going to deal with this from a position of strength. We are going to do the right thing, and our integrity will not be questioned in terms of how we handled this situation.
But in regards to this, our integrity will not be in question as a program, in terms of how we handle the problem. I think it’s very important that we look at things and we handle this problem with strength and resolve and that’s exactly what we will do. We are going to gain ourselves respect back as a football team and as a program, on and off the field.
I feel like it’s something that I have to deal with as a head football coach, and I feel strength, and I feel like as a leader… when in times of crisis, you’d better have somebody strong who is going to be able to lead and that’s my place, and that’s what I’ll do and that’s my role.
I have been disappointed before. Our football program has been disappointed before, and we will rise above this. We always will.”
To me, here are the key words he used:
“We are going to do the right thing, and our integrity will not be questioned in terms of how we handled this situation.”
Regardless of if we ever hear anything more (officially) on what Bullough did, we already know a lot about the man who made the difficult call to suspend his captain.