Jon Reschke, former linebacker for Michigan State, is returning to Spartans squad following a 17-month absence that was the result of his use of a racial slur against a former teammate. Coach Mark Dantonio mentioned the possibility of Reschke’s return in January and told ESPN that the decision to bring him back was made by his players. He said that the 23-year-old has participated in some of the team’s offseason conditioning, an experience he thinks contributed to some healing among players. The entire Spartan team voted on whether to welcome Reschke back and then a second vote of just African-American players was taken. Both votes were unanimous.
In February 2017, Reschke issued a statement in which he apologized for a comment he made about a former teammate.
“Over a month ago, 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. In so doing, I have hurt and offended countless number of people, and for that, I am deeply sorry. If I could take my comment back, I would do so in a second. I have addressed my teammates and coaches and while many understand my actions were totally uncharacteristic of who I am, the hurt still lingers.”
Michigan State players have decided to allow LB Jon Reschke back onto the team 17 months after he issued an apology for using the N-word in a text message https://t.co/900xkXNkDp
— SI College Football (@si_ncaafb) July 24, 2018
The identity of the former teammate has not been released. Reschke’s comments were reportedly made in a text message according to SB Nation.
His plan after leaving Michigan State was to transfer to another school. A knee injury kept him from playing last year though, and because he has played in only two games since 2016, the NCAA has granted him a medical waiver that gives him a sixth year of eligibility.
Coach Dantonio indicates that it’s up to the players how things play out between now and football season. He first had to complete the school’s bottom line program. “The next step,” says Dantonio, “will be does he come to camp or not. But at this point in time, all indications from my players is that they want him in camp.”
Reschke started all 14 games for MSU in 2015 and had 75 tackles and two sacks. He earned Honorable Mention for the All-Big Ten squad and was named the Spartans’ most improved player. In his career with Michigan State from 2014 to 2016, he has 101 tackles. He was one of the highest-rated players in his position in the country and went to MSU on a scholarship. When he returns, it will be without a scholarship.