Lawyers want Dantonio to testify again

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EAST LANSING, MI (WILX) -- Lawyers for former Spartan football recruiter Curtis Blackwell want Head Coach Mark Dantonio to answer more questions under oath.

The Spartan head coach was deposed for about six hours at the federal courthouse in Grand Rapids earlier this month.

Blackwell's lawyers argue the questioning was cut short when the courthouse closed for the day. They're asking a judge to force Dantonio to come back for another hour of questioning.

Blackwell is suing Dantonio, former athletic director Mark Hollis, former Michigan State University president Lou Anna K Simon and a pair of university police detectives for wrongful termination and unlawful arrest.

As for Dantonio specifically, Blackwell claims he ignored warnings from his assistant coaches about former player Auston Robertson, who was later convicted of sexual assault, according to court documents in Blackwell's lawsuit.

Blackwell was suspended amid a sexual assault investigation involving three former players in early 2017. The investigation led to charges being filed against Donnie Corley, Demetric Vance and Josh King. All three took a plea deal in the case earlier this year. MSU decided not to renew Blackwell's contract in May of 2017.

Records obtained by News 10 through a Freedom of Information Act request show MSU Police wanted Blackwell to be charged with interfering with the sexual assault investigation. The documents show Blackwell admitted discussing the allegations with multiple players, football staff members and at least one player's father. He was never charged with a crime.

The lawsuit alleges Blackwell was suspended in violation of his employment agreement and was never given the opportunity to give his side of the story.

"Had they, (Blackwell) would have explained that he did not provide cover for the student athletes or interfere with an investigation; rather, he was simply performing his job which required 'mentoring student athletes'", the lawsuit states.

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