Former MSU Receiver Says Coach ‘Struck Him’ In 1986
Andre Rison, a star wide receiver at Michigan State, and later in the NFL, says he 'shed a tear' after the incident, and then 'held it in' until now.
The incident allegedly happened before MSU took the field against Illinois on October 18, 1986. Rison told ESPN that assistant coach Carl 'Buck' Nystrom hit him shortly before the team took the field, and that there were several witnesses.
Rison says he was consoled immediately after it happened by now Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who was a MSU assistant at the time.
"Back then, you just thought it was part of being tough and being a football player that wanted to make it to the National Football League [and] ultimately change the living situations of my mom, brother, sisters and family," Rison told ESPN.
"That man had no right to hit me. I never told my mom. I never told anybody," Rison, who was a sophomore at the time of the incident said. "The only people that really knew were our whole team and all the coaches. Nick Saban was on that staff. He was one of the ones that came to me and consulted me. That's why I respect him to this day...I love Nick like a father figure."
Rison gave no reason as to why Nystrom struck him. He added that he no longer feels welcome on the MSU campus.
Nystrom has yet to comment on the charges.
Both Nystrom and Rison are members of the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame. Rison went on to play in the NFL for eight different teams, and was on the 1996 Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers roster.
Rison said he spoke up about the incident because of the George Floyd protests highlighting racism in the nation.