Police and university officials are remaining quiet on an assault that occurred Sunday night in Rather Hall, which reportedly involved members of the MSU football team.
Although officials have made no direct link, MSU head coach Mark Dantonio released a statement Tuesday afternoon announcing the dismissal of junior safety Roderick Jenrette and sophomore running back Glenn Winston from the team.
University spokesman Terry Denbow said as of Tuesday, no official charges had been filed against anyone, and any disciplinary action taken against Jenrette and Winston was in relation to a violation of team rules. After various reports from police and media surfaced Tuesday about the incident, the MSU athletics department immediately became involved, he added.
MSU police acknowledged the Rather Hall assault, however, did not release any information about it. MSU police Sgt. Jill Geile referred all questions to Denbow, who said questions were being referred to him to “centralize messaging.” Members of the Iota Phi Theta fraternity said they were victims of the assault, in which a group of people, including football players, attacked fraternity members picking up after a potluck in Rather Hall’s lounge.
Normally, MSU police read the contents of police reports to those who request them, even in open investigations. However, Geile refused to do so and referred questions to the university. The State News has regular meetings with MSU police in which the contents of what happened in police reports is discussed.
Denbow said he did not have a copy of the police report and couldn’t elaborate on its details.
Victims and those familiar with the incident said they knew Winston was involved and that an assailant had dreadlocks. Winston was jailed earlier this year for assaulting an MSU hockey player. He was ordered to serve 180 days in jail for his role in an Oct. 19, 2008, fight. Winston reportedly punched junior defenseman A.J. Sturges. The fight resulted in Sturges’ hospitalization and his inability to play during the 2008-09 season.
Dantonio reinstated Winston to the team hours after he was released from jail. Before the football season began, Dantonio briefly mentioned the reinstatement of Winston following his jail sentence.
“We have to support Glenn. He’s our player,” Dantonio said. “He needs to have somebody to support him, and I try and support our players in that regard.”
Mike Krueger, general manager of The Small Planet, 16800 Chandler Road, said the fraternity was holding an after-party at the venue Saturday night when a fight involving multiple people broke out on the dance floor.
That event possibly could be linked to the altercation in Rather Hall.
Krueger said he and security stopped the fight and proceeded to shut down the event. He could not identify who was involved in the fight.