Cassius Peat was set to return to Michigan State this week — until he heard otherwise from the coaching staff.
Peat told the Detroit Free Press over the weekend that he was told last Wednesday — less than a week before he was to report to campus — that he “couldn’t come” back to MSU.
“Morally, I didn’t think it was right,” Peat said. “Four days before I was supposed to report, they just blindsided me and said I couldn’t come.”
Peat, a defensive lineman, began his college career at MSU as a 2015 signee. He redshirted his first season on campus and left the program ahead of the 2016 season. After time at a junior college in Arizona (where Peat’s from), he said he was re-admitted by the school and was ready to return to the football team. Now he has to pursue other options.
Peat, who did not play football at his junior college, said he was given no explanation why the program was not letting him return to East Lansing. MSU has not released a statement about the ordeal.
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“I have respect for them, and I understand it’s a business,” Peat said. “But morally, man, as a 20-year-old kid with a family, for them to do that is – I can’t even put it into words, to be honest. I did nothing wrong. I was admitted to get back in and everything. I’ve been trying to bite my lip about it, but I just feel like I have to put that out there. … They didn’t even give me a reason.”
There has been a lot of turmoil at Michigan State in recent months, but this decision from the Spartans doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense on the surface. Before Peat was granted his release last summer, he was not participating in preseason camp. At the time, Dantonio told reporters that Peat was not suspended, but he was given a chance “to get himself in order.” Since then, Peat said, there have been no off-the-field issues that would give MSU pause.
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Peat told SpartanMag.com that he is on track to earn his associate’s degree, so it wasn’t an academic thing. It doesn’t appear to be a scholarship crunch either, especially considering the lack of depth the Spartans have at Peat’s position.
The whole thing really is curious, and MSU has not told its side of the story with a statement or anything. There has to be more to it. Maybe Dantonio will address the situation whenever he next speaks to reporters, but until then this could be another negative cloud hanging over the MSU program.
For Peat’s part, he had nothing but positive things to say about Dantonio, despite receiving no explanation for the program’s decision to part ways with him.
“Respectfully and professionally, I’m not talking bad on the program. I’m not talking bad on Coach Dantonio, I still have respect for him,” he told the Free Press. “Hopefully they have a better year and they get that stuff figured out. I know there’s a lot of turmoil going on.”
Peat even told SpartanMag.com that Dantonio said he would be willing to speak on his behalf (“with nothing but positive things”) if another program reached out. Peat plans to be on the field — somewhere — in 2017 and has already re-opened the recruiting process.
For more Michigan State news, visit SpartanMag.com.
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