Jon Reschke was a bit player on Michigan State’s 2016 team. The junior linebacker collected 13 tackles on the year, good for 21st on the team. So when he made a statement that offended “countless” members of the Spartan locker room, it seemed an easy decision for Reschke to pursue a graduate transfer for the 2017 season. Reschke admitted as much upon his February 2017 departure, saying in a statement, “in an argument and a brief moment of anger, I lost control of my emotions and made an insensitive and totally regrettable comment involving a former teammate.”
But Reschke never found a suitable transfer option, and a May 2017 ACL surgery damaged whatever limited options he had.
After sitting out the 2017 season, Reschke would like a second chance at being a Spartan.
And Mark Dantonio has decided to let Reschke’s former and possible future teammates decide his fate.
“I’ve talked to our football team about it,” Dantonio told MLive. “That’s our football team’s decision on that one. I think there’s certain things that you go through relative to your football team so that decision will get made as we go forward. I think it’s more important to talk to our players about that, if and when that happens.”
Dantonio is not the first coach to use such a tactic. Les Miles infamously allowed starting running back Jeremy Hill to return to the LSU roster through a 2013 player vote after Hill pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery. Reschke’s case is not that. His sin was committed against his teammates, and Dantonio has smartly and appropriately allowed the locker room to be Reschke’s court of appeals.
Said Dantonio: “I think it’s important that we allow our players to embrace certain things and empower them to make decisions, so I’ll empower them to make certain decisions on our football team.”