ESPN Used A Mike Sadler Tribute Photo For A Story On Sexual Assault Issues At MSU
Another chapter to the ESPN-Michigan State feud was written Tuesday, after the news broke about William Strampel's criminal sexual conduct charges.
Dan Murphy of ESPN had the write-up for their website and when sharing it on Twitter a picture of the Spartan head logo tribute to former football player Mike Sadler was used as the cover image. You know the one--with the number 3 visible in the helmet, from the 2016 season.
This got Mark Dantonio so angry that he took to Twitter—something he had not done in over a week prior.
Dantonio's Twitter feed is usually very reserved, posting casually about birthdays of current and former players, news involving MSU alumni and other major Michigan State athletic events. So this tweet certainly caught some people off guard.
Off the wave of outrage Murphy claims the image was a stock photo and was not used in the story. He also claims to have told ESPN about the stock image issue immediately, which was met by skepticism. A different Twitter account claims it took ESPN seven hours to correct the image.
Sadler was an All-American punter for MSU. The Grand Rapids native also was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection (2012, 2013) and finished his career ranked among MSU's all-time leaders in punts (second with 268), punting yards (second with 11,307) and punting average (sixth at 42.2).
Sadler died in a car accident while working a kicking camp in Wisconsin in July 2016. He was 24 years old. His friend Nebraska punter Sam Foltz also died in the crash.