Michigan State University’s President Resigns Amid Outcry Over The Handling Of Larry Nassar’s Case

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Amid the buildup to ex-Team USA doctor Larry Nassar’s up-to-175-year prison sentence for the sexual abuse of over 150 female athletes, people want to know why something wasn’t done much sooner about Nassar’s behavior. USA Gymnastics, following Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman’s condemnation that it was “rotting from the inside,” has lost several major sponsors. Also, Michigan State University (where Nassar maintained a sports medicine practice) has been seen plenty of outcry over the school failing to take quicker action.

Things are looking grim for MSU. As such, journalism professor Sue Carter resigned on Wednesday while saying she was “profoundly saddened” by the school’s “ineffective response” to the Nassar case, and a few hours later, MSU President Lou Anna Simon announced her resignation on the university’s website. Here’s part of Simon’s statement:

As tragedies are politicized, blame is inevitable. As president, it is only natural that I am the focus of this anger. I understand, and that is why I have limited my personal statements … I have tried to make it not about me. I urge those who have supported my work to understand that I cannot make it about me now. Therefore, I am tendering my resignation as president according to the terms of my employment agreement.

Earlier this week, the N.C.A.A. launched an investigation into how MSU handled the case, particularly regarding when university officials knew of the mounting abuse complaints along with when they finally took action.

According to the Detroit News, 14 (or more) MSU representatives were reportedly made aware of the mounting allegations against Nassar, whose trail of sexual abuse can be traced back to the 1990s, over a period of two decades. However, MSU has claimed that no university officials “believed Nassar committed sexual abuse” until 2016. MSU also denies accusations of a cover-up as “simply false,” although the pending investigation may (or may not) prove otherwise.

(Via MSU.edu, Lansing State Journal, Detroit News & Huffington Post)