Michigan State police: Investigation involving 3 players, 1 employee will take time

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State University police chief Jim Dunlap said Wednesday he doesn't expect the next step in a sexual assault investigation involving three members of the Spartans football team to be a "short-term turnaround."

Michigan State announced on Feb. 9 that it was suspending three football players and one member of the football staff pending the results of a sexual assault investigation. The three players were also removed from student housing, the university said.

Campus police submitted requests for four arrest warrants to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office on Feb. 16. Three of the requests were for sexual assault charges. The fourth was for a non-sexual crime related to the investigation.

The prosecutor asked the police last week to provide more information before making a decision. Dunlap said Wednesday his department is gathering more information, but that it won't be a short process.

"We never thought when it was referred back to us that it was going to be a short-term turnaround," Dunlap said. "There are a lot of issues that require us to get different parts of the criminal process to follow through on those. Those are time-consuming. The whole purpose of the first pass is to make sure we're compiling all the information that is necessary."

A university spokesman confirmed last week that recruiting director Curtis Blackwell is currently suspended with pay. The spokesman declined to say whether Blackwell was the staff member suspended as a result of the sexual assault investigation. The three suspended players have not yet been named.

Michigan State is scheduled to begin its spring practices on Friday.