Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio addressed the media late Tuesday afternoon as the Spartans began their first spring practice.

It marked his first public comments in more than a month, when he denied a report that he mishandled complaints of sexual assault against his players. Dantonio stood behind his previous statement when asked if there was anything he wanted to add about a sexual assault culture on campus.

"Only that I want to commit to being part of the solution," he said. "I made my statement on how I feel about things. Hopefully we're healing as a community and healing as a university. It's a step-by-step process. A lot of time spring is the time for a new beginning, so I'll use that in this case as well. It's an opportunity to grow and get better at everything that we're doing and looking at. I think (interim president) John Engler has done a great job thus far organizationally in terms of confronting the issue."

Dantonio on Tuesday said his message to players is "Be respectful of the process, make sure that we respect women, obviously, make sure that we have no incidents and we have to be very careful everywhere we go and understand that this is a process. They know the expectations here, they know the guidelines and the rules and we're going to follow those and stay within those."

Michigan State has been in turmoil in recent months amid the fallout from the scandal involving former university sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar. He is headed to prison for the rest of his life after sexually assaulting more than 250 girls and women, including former Michigan State athletes.