A Brief on Vayante Copeland, and Links to a Few Other Pieces of Spartan Football News
Jun 14th, 2017 by 89 Chemistry

Copeland was a four-star recruit who appeared on his way to joining Trae Waynes as a No-Fly-Zone worthy before a neck injury ended his debut season in the second game (Oregon, 2015).   Last year he played in MSU’s first two games, then started the next seven games before a different injury ended his sophomore season.   In 2016 he averaged about as many defensive production points as Darian Hicks (and generated more, per start, than Demetrious Cox), and would have ranked third in 2016 production points among all returning Spartan defenders (behind LBs Chris Frey and Andrew Dowell) if he were able to play in 2017.   While I do not know how production points are earned, I do know that Copeland defended three passes and made 36 tackles last year.

Connecting dots presented in this article strongly suggest the reason for Copeland’s release:

The only Spartan cornerbacks on scholarship who played in the Spring Game and are still on the team are Justin Layne (technically a WR); T.J. Harrell.(a converted linebacker); and Josiah Scott (who might not be old enough to vote).   I imagine the several DB losses will force Layne’s designation as a full-time CB.

(Sidebar: DE Demetrius Cooper and safety Khari Willis tied for 10th place in 2016 production points.   They are the only other returning defenders that were in the top 11.)

Copeland’s absence from MSU’s summer roster prompted reporters to ask Mark Dantonio about him yesterday.   Here is the roster (numerical order only):

Separately, USMC Retired shared a link late in the previous thread that suggests why Cassius Peat is not able to play in East Lansing — at least for this fall:

Finally, there is Spartan uniform news!

Colorado Brewery Release Honors Mike Sadler Today
Jun 2nd, 2017 by Kindle

The beer label is pictured above. (Photo: Jagged Mountain Brewery)

As most MSU fans know by now, and has been discussed here, Jagged Mountain Brewery in Denver, co-owned by MSU alum RJ Banat, created a craft beer called “Hey Diddle Diddle” that is named after one of Mike Sadler’s most famous trick plays from his time as a Spartan. The wheat ale debuted last night at the Colorado Spartan Social and the brewery – located a few blocks from Coors Field – is having its official release party today, June 2nd.

“Based on everything I know about Mike – a super-funny, witty guy – I think it’s just awesome to have a beer in his name,” said Banat, a Sterling Heights native who graduated from MSU in 1997. “It’s been fun, it’s been a great time. And we feel very privileged and honored to be the guys who were asked to do this.”


Tonight’s the night! We finally get to taste ‘s “Hey Diddle Diddle” honoring at the .

Spartans from the Front Range and beyond celebrated Spartan spirit and generosity in support of the MSU Rocky Mountain Alumni Club and the Michael Sadler Foundation.  The evening included food, refreshments, live music, a silent auction of MSU sports memorabilia and a program featuring former MSU Football players, current NFL players, and other notable Spartans.
6:00pm – VIP Reception
7:00pm – Doors open for general admission ticket holders, silent auction opens
7:45pm – Program begins
9:00pm – Silent auction closes
9:45pm(ish) – Program ends, silent auction check-out

Former Spartans Taybor Pepper, Bennie Fowler, Conner Kruse, Blake Treadwell, Coach Staten and Executive Director of Admissions, Jim Cotter, were among those in attendance.

Nathaniel Bolt of reported that a number of people were visibly emotional when they talked about the heart of Mike Sadler. People who knew him and did not know him alike.  “His effect was so powerful the brewmaster of “Hey Diddle Diddle”, who never met Mike, brought half the event to tears with his speech.”


  • Just spoke with former lineman Blake Treadwell. his favorite memory of Mike — talking about life after football…fittingly over a beer.
  • One of the main games here is “Heads or Tails” — everyone who made a $10 donation at the door gets to participate.  A commemorative Sadler/Fultz coin is flipped. Players select heads or tails until only one person remains. Winner takes home the coin.
  • Main event here is the silent auction. Items such as a Tom Izzo signed basketball and Mark Dantonio signed jersey up for bid.
  • Autographed memorabilia from Gary Harris, Denzel Valentine, and many others up for bid as well.
  • Bennie Fowler and Darqueze Dennard both commit to giving $2500 to the Colorado Spartans and Michael Sadler Foundation.
  • Lots of others ranging from $1000, $500, $250 and a large amount of $100 donations.
  • Mark Staten puts a signed B1G championship ball, his own sideline passes and tickets. Goes for $600.  The winner received a long snap from Taybor Pepper that went a little too high. His response: “Now you know what Mike had to deal with.”  Taybor Pepper’s mother Donna Pepper, “These are the things hardest for me…we always assumed Sadler would be a part of these “reunions” for years to come. Breaks my heart.”
  • Fun thing happen[ed] as Mark Staten takes podium [and says] former players here will get quizzed on old plays to see if they remember the playbook.
  • Video montage: Most of the clips from B1G championship against OSU and Rose Bowl. Players and crowd having a great time interacting with one another.

Taybor Pepper, long-snapper on the famous play samples the brew.


The Michael Sadler Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. Any gift to the foundation is tax-deductible.

The Michael Sadler Foundation exists to develop programs and awards that emphasize the values Michael embraced: academic excellence, athletic achievement, leadership and character strength.

UPDATED 2017 Spartan Football Schedule
May 31st, 2017 by Kindle

MSU was scheduled to play Bowling Green on Sept. 9 and Western Michigan on Sept. 16. They will now host BGU on Sept. 2 and WMU on Sept. 9. The 2017 bye is now set for Sept. 16.


Games in bold are home games in the grand covfefe of such things.

Sept. 16: Bye
Sept. 23: NOTRE DAME–Fox
Sept. 30: IOWA

Oct. 7: at Michigan
Oct. 14: at Minnesota
Oct. 21: INDIANA (Homecoming)
Oct. 28: at Northwestern–ESPN/ESPN2
Nov. 11: at Ohio State
Nov. 25: at Rutgers

Note: The official MSU site lists the Northwestern game as Oct. 27th, a Friday, while all other reporting sites, including the Wildcats’ official site, list the game as being on Saturday Oct. 28th.  I went with October 28th for my schedule list above.

**The Spartans will open the 2017 season with four consecutive home games for the first time since 2002 and for only the fifth time in school history (1918: 5 straight, 1924: 4, 1928: 5, 2002: 5; 2017: 4).

**Michigan State will play a total of seven home games in 2017, including three non-conference contests (Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Notre Dame) and four Big Ten games (Iowa, Indiana, Penn State, Maryland).


3h3 hours ago

 First time in a long time that MSU won’t play on the Friday night of Labor Day weekend.

Michigan State’s football opener vs. Bowling Green is set for noon on Saturday, Sept. 2 on ESPNU. Appears no Friday night opener this year.
Returning to Success: Can MSU Football Get Out of its Own Way?
May 4th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Do we have our head in the sand?

A few days ago I proposed – as a joke – to 79′ that we should add the phrase “3-9” to the words and phrases that are banned from use on this site.  That way we could avoid, in part, re-living last football season.

With Demetrius Cooper apparently violating his plea deal with law enforcement (arrested for consuming alcohol in public as a minor), does it not feel as if MSU Football cannot get out of the way of itself in its desire to return to good standing and a good record.

In the case of Cooper, some would argue the law breaking act is a small and petty violation – ticky tac stuff.  They may or may not be correct.  However, Cooper and MSU worked a deal to keep him out of the legal penalty. And the deal: he would not drink alcohol as a minor. So Demetrius Cooper did not honor the deal or stay true to his word.

I believe there is a large consensus of membership that believe Mark Dantonio as Head Coach is about as good as its gets (e.g., winner, straight shooter, respectful). I am one of them.

However, the MSU Football story-line for some time now is: losers on the field, multiple arrests for violation of the law, multiple criminal investigations for violation of the law, and sudden departures from the program by multiple starters/likely starters for self-admitted improper behavior.  Given these facts and their almost unending occurrence, is it fair to say MSU Football is a program that is out of the control of its Head Coach? Answering yes, would have seemed implausible to me a while ago, but now I am not so certain.

Your thoughts?


Are the Other Shoes Starting to Drop?
Apr 21st, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Wait for the other shoe to drop

A common experience of tenement living in apartment-style housing in New York City, and other large cities, during the manufacturing boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Apartments were built, similar in design, with the bedrooms located directly above and underneath one another. Thus, it was normal to hear a neighbor removing their shoes in the apartment above. As one shoe made a sound hitting the floor, the expectation for the other shoe to make a similar disturbance was created.


(idiomatic) To defer action or decision until another matter is finished or resolved.
(idiomatic) To await a seemingly inevitable event, especially one that is not desirable.

Source: Wikidictionary

Auston Robertson a sophomore Defensive Lineman for the Michigan State University football program has been charged with sexual criminal misconduct.  The charges were filed this morning by Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon. The official charge is third-degree criminal sexual conduct.  A third-degree charge relates to alleged non-consensual sexual penetration with force or coercion, the victim being incapacitated or other factors.  The court record states that Roberton’s charge involves force or coercion.  The story as reported in the Free-Press is [here].

First, Roberston has been charged and he is innocent until proven guilty.  However, this is not Roberston’s first run-in with the law for similar type of conduct.

The result in the earlier case: Robertson participated and successfully completed a court mandated Diversionary Program.  Do Diversionary Programs create and document Alternate Facts?

Seems like more and more athletes are benefiting from this newly named type of extra-curriculum. For example, Kansas Jayhawk Josh Jackson is getting the honor to participate in a Diversionary Program before NBA Draft day.

The filing against Robertson is the first of possibly four to be made against MSU football players.  The other three are from a separate incident.  Should we expect the other shoes to begin dropping?

Mixed Bag Saturday Thread: Spring Game to Final Four
Apr 1st, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Saturday April 1st,  2017.  Is it time for April Fools pranks?  Not on this post, as there is way too much going on in TUSland.

  1.  No Joke, the empire known at UConn Women is over.  The streak of 110 games and 4 straight National Titles is caput.  Read [here].  12 Months and five days after losing by 60 points to UConn (in the 2016 Sweet 16) Mississippi State made up all those points, plus 2 more to dethrone the national champs in the 2017 Women’s Final Four game on Friday night.
  2. After 12 practices in a less than upbeat light hearted environment the Michigan State University football team conducts its Spring football game.  Gametime is 3PM (EDT) and the event is open to the public and will be broadcast on BTN.  The game is to be conducted almost a month earlier than normal. The normally quiet and close-to-the-vest Head coach Mark Dantonio has been almost silent.  Given the criminal investigations (and subsequent suspensions) of MSU football players and staff all following a 3-9 season a cloud hangs over MSU.
  3. Down the street and starting 5 minutes later positive vibes are likely reverberate as the Spartan baseball team (15-6 3-0) takes on highly regarded Minnesota (15-8 3-0) on Kobs Field at McLane Stadium.  The game (3:05 PM EDT) is available on TV at BTNToGo and radio on SpartanSportsNetwork.  More information is [here]
  4. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four resumes with the two National Semi-Final contests (CBS). #7 South Carolina vs. #1 Gonzaga tips off at 6:09 PM EDT. Approximately 30 after the end of the first game #3 Oregon takes on #1 North Carolina (eta 8:49 PM EDT).
  5. If the South Carolina Men’s team (a 7.5 point underdog) can win today; both the Men’s and Women’s squad will play in the National Title. In comments on previous posts Intrepid reporter USMC(retired) indicated there was bedlam in Columbia S.C. Oh, and to think it is has been 12 years since East Lansing experienced the same.
  6. The Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball finish their spring training season today in Miami FLA against the Marlins.  The past 10 seasons have been heady ones for the Tigers and their fans (of which Linda, Jeff, Kyle, Shae dog, Merry [Christmas] dog count as 5).  Those days seem to moving the status as “the past”.  However, at least Justin Verlander has returned to top form and life with Kate Upton is a “Perfect fit.”  See [here].
  7. No need to mention details about the Pistons or the Red Wings as that is too much negative ju-ju in one post.
  8. I think I now know how Eyeore feels after completing a post or comment.
  9. Wait, wait, wait-a-moment!  Norkfork Rancher is doing something very cool. NFR is deep into researching/experiencing family roots this very day. I know it is non-sports related and in most respects a somber event… but would it be okay with TUS Membership for NFR (if willing) to post a story about it?
In Dantonio I Trust (IDIT): This time with meaning
Feb 28th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Members of The Usual Suspects have a history of applying the In [place name here] I Trust (I[]IT) in great volume.

I have made fun of membership about the liberal nature of the application – especially when there is a reasoned case for challenging a Head Coach being put forth – usually by a Bum or persons hailing from New Jersey while sitting in airports.

Michigan State University (MSU), its athletics department, and its football program are in the middle of multiple Sh#t-storms for the actions of staff and players.  As ATLSpartan noted in a comment on the previous Post, Head Football Coach Mark Dantonio issued the following statement as reported in the Detroit Free Press:

“With spring practice beginning last weekend and preparation for a new season underway, I feel it’s important to reinforce the core values and beliefs that have built and defined this program during my time at MSU,” Dantonio said. “Since arriving here 11 years ago, my passion has been to lead a program that fosters a culture of integrity, respect and accountability, both on and off the field. That will never change. I have high standards for the program and expect all of our players and staff to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values and principles of Michigan State University. Our goal is to develop young men of character who graduate and make a positive impact on society.”

Many could argue the statement above is a calculated piece of drivel generated by Mitigation Consultants (e.g., Dewey, Chetum, & Howe).  I might agree to a large fractional percent the skeptics are correct.  I also believe that the multiple Sh#t-storms are going to hurt if not ruin a number of careers – possibly rightly so.

However, I also believe, with all his human frailty, Mark Dantonio is the author of the statement above (in spirit or in fact), and is the person I want and trust to be at the helm of MSU football – IDIT.

Boilermakers @ Spartans Men’s Basketball Gamethread
Jan 24th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Purdue heads to East Lansing to take on the Spartans at the Breslin.

Gametime:  7PM (EST)

National Broadcast: ESPN2

Announcers: Dan Shulman, Dan Dakich and Molly McGrath.

I have two question for which I want answers from every member of TUS as part of their 1st comment.

  1. Final Score Prediction
  2. Based on MSU Football Recruiting news of the past few days, Mark Dantonio’s new nickname should be: A.) d’Poacher, B.) d’Flipper C.) Other (you provide the new nickname)
Football: 2016 Michigan State Award Winners
Dec 12th, 2016 by USMC Retired

Just thought I’d try out my new training wheels (comments on any of these – Not sure what the Captains Awards are, but Cox should have never gotten anything and had that title rescinded)

2016 Michigan State Award Winners
Governor’s Award (Most Valuable Player): WR R.J. Shelton
Downtown Coaches Club Award – Outstanding Senior Offense: WR R.J. Shelton
Downtown Coaches Club Award – Outstanding Senior Defense: LB Riley Bullough
Downtown Coaches Club Award – Outstanding Senior Special Teams: PK Michael Geiger
Biggie Munn Award (Most Inspirational): QB Tyler O’Connor (offense), LB Riley Bullough (defense)
MSU Football Players Association Community Service Award: TE Josiah Price
President’s Award (Senior Lineman/Senior Back Perseverance): OL Kodi Kieler (offense), DE Evan Jones (defense)
Up Front Award (Outstanding Lineman): OG Brian Allen (offense), LB Chris Frey (defense)
Clarence Underwood Sportsmanship Award: OL Benny McGowan
Outstanding Underclass Lineman: OT Cole Chewins (offense), DT Mike Panasiuk (defense)
Outstanding Underclass Back: RB LJ Scott (offense), S Montae Nicholson (defense)
Jim Adams Award (Unsung Heroes): RB Prescott Line (offense), DT Kevin Williams (defense)
Tommy Love Award (Most Improved): RB Gerald Holmes (offense), DT Raequan Williams (defense)
Danziger Award (Outstanding Detroit Area Player): WR Donnie Corley
Iron Man Award (Strength and Conditioning): LB Riley Bullough
Potsy Ross Award (Scholar-Athlete): QB Tyler O’Connor, WR Edward Barksdale III
Doug Weaver Oil Can (Team Humorist): LB Riley Bullough
Captains Award: LB Riley Bullough, S Demetrious Cox, QB Tyler O’Connor

MSU Football: What Changes Would You Make?
Nov 27th, 2016 by I Believe

The 2016 MSU football season was an abomination. One reporter who covers the Spartans says MSU failed in every aspect of the game this season, a point that is hard to argue. But was it an anomaly and, if so, how much of one?

In previous posts, I’ve shared how former MSU seasons have gone sour after significant success – even under Duffy – and recently posted a link to a New York Times article in which we learn that Mark Dantonio still talks weekly with his mentor, Jim Tressel, and that even Mr. Sweatervest once suffered through a 3-8 season (at Youngstown State) only to win the national championship two years later.

Michigan State was seemingly riding high, having won two of the last three B1G titles, earned a berth in the FBS playoff, and put together its best recruiting class which included more early enrollees than any other. Coach Dantonio and his staff are putting together another strong recruiting class, so the future is seemingly bright. One member of the 2017 class even tweeted last night that the newest group of Spartans would return MSU to greatness.

Mark Dantonio is unconditionally loyal, and has already declared he will not be making any staff changes. Am curious to know, with other coaching changes in the works across the nation, if any members of the current staff will depart for other opportunities after such a disappointing season. (Sometimes it’s better to self-purge.)

Recruiting and at least one victory each season could get more difficult for the Spartans if P.J. Fleck, whose first coaching job was as a grad assistant at Ohio State under Jim Tressel during the Buckeyes’ 2006 season which ended in a loss to Florida in the BCS title game, leaves Kalamazoo for South Bend. Brian Kelly is apparently looking for other opportunities and Fleck would be a dynamic choice for Notre Dame, which will be seeking a disciplinarian after the academic scandal cost it two seasons of victories.

The Spartans’ first order of business for the 2017 season is a team (soul searching) meeting at 7 a.m. Monday. Put on your coaching cap and share your five agenda items for that meeting. Then include the three changes you’d make as head coach between now and the Spring practice sessions.

Together, we’ll get through this as we are Spartans For Life who have #SpartansWill.


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