Sunday, August 1, 2021

Former MSU football staffer's appeal dismissed in case against Dantonio

July 8, 2021
<p>Former Head Coach Mark Dantonio walks out of the tunnel with the team before the game against Central Michigan on Sept. 29, 2018 at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Chippewas, 31-20.</p>

Former Head Coach Mark Dantonio walks out of the tunnel with the team before the game against Central Michigan on Sept. 29, 2018 at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Chippewas, 31-20.

Photo by Matt Schmucker | The State News

Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Michael Gadola has dismissed a former Michigan State University football staffer’s case, citing failing to timely file a brief calling for an appeal. 

Former MSU football staffer Curtis Blackwell II sued former football Head Coach Mark Dantonio, former MSU President Lou Anna Simon and former MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis in claiming violation of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. 

As of June 25, Judge Gadola dismissed the appeal for not filing in time as well as ordering Blackwell’s attorney, Thomas Warnicke, to pay $250 in court costs. 

Blackwell and his attorney have filed three lawsuits, at both the state and federal level dating back to Nov. 2018.

Blackwell made claims in a federal lawsuit that Dantonio violated multiple NCAA rules, such as sending Blackwell to recruits’ homes and finding employment opportunities for recruits’ family members.  

When the state suit was presented, Blackwell claimed race was a factor in MSU’s failure to rehire him as well as his involvement in a sexual assault investigation against three players.

Blackwell’s third lawsuit was filed in March 2020 at the Wayne County Circuit Court but was transferred to the Ingham County Circuit Court in Oct. 2020. 

In Dec. 2020, Judge Wanda Stokes ruled against Blackwell’s claims and the following day the case was officially closed. 

Weeks later, Blackwell’s attorney filed a claim of appeal against Stokes’s decision, reopening the case in the court of appeals. 

Warnicke was sent an involuntary dismissal warning for both having no docket statement and no appellant brief, ultimately resulting in the dismissal of the case on June 25. 

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