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Michigan State is bringing back a linebacker who left the team after reportedly calling a teammate the N-word

Jon Reschke’s return comes without a scholarship.

Michigan State v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

In February 2017, Michigan State linebacker Jon Reschke left the program. Neither the school nor player specified the circumstances, but Reschke wrote this statement at the time:

“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. Therefore, after discussions with [Coach Mark] Dantonio and other members of the staff, we have mutually decided that I will complete my degree and seek the opportunity of a graduate transfer for my final year of football.”

Reschke started for Michigan State in 2015. He was injured for most of 2016, and his stated plan was to graduate, leave East Lansing, and be eligible immediately elsewhere. Reschke didn’t leave, though, and he still has a year left of eligibility.

Now, Reschke’s returning to the Spartans. More details have emerged about what led up to his leaving the team 17 months ago.

The Detroit Free Press reports:

“Honestly don’t know who for sure but probably (teammate’s name redacted) or another s****y f*****g (N-word) with no morals,” Reschke wrote in an undated text message obtained via screenshot by the Free Press.

The text listed Reschke’s phone number as the sender and had the responses scribbled out. A former MSU teammate, who requested anonymity and did not provide the text, confirmed its contents and said the conversation involved a female acquaintance of Reschke’s.

A four-star inside backer in the class of 2013, Reschke was one of the country’s highest-rated players at his position and on a scholarship at MSU. He won’t be on scholarship this year, coach Mark Dantonio said, and paid “the ultimate price” by not playing football in 2017. Reschke’s exact status isn’t certain, but it seems likely he’ll play in games.

“The first step was for him to be able to complete what we call our bottom line program which has been completed,” Dantonio said. “Next step 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.”