Michigan State President Called on to Resign Amid Larry Nassar Scandal

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2018

In this Nov. 22, 2017 file photo, Dr. Larry Nassar, 54, appears in court for a plea hearing in Lansing, Mich. Nasser, a sports doctor accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University pleaded, guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault and will face at least 25 years in prison.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Michigan State Board of Trustees member Mitch Lyons called for MSU President Lou Anna Simon to resign Saturday amid the sexual abuse scandal related to former Michigan State physician Larry Nassar.

While the Michigan State Board of Trustees publicly supported Simon on Friday, Lyons made a statement of his own Saturday, according to ESPN.com's Dan Murphy:

"I do not agree with our statement of support for President Simon. As I expressed repeatedly to fellow board members during our discussion Friday, I don't feel that President Simon can survive the public outcry that has been generated by this tragedy and even less so after hearing the testimony of these brave survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse. I feel that our best recourse is for President Simon to resign immediately."

Nassar pleaded guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct in November with regard to incidents during his time as a doctor at Michigan State and for USA Gymnastics.

Per Murphy, over 150 women have said Nassar sexually abused them, and many of them have addressed him during a sentencing hearing this week.

Among them were women who said they told MSU officials about Nassar's abuse.

Murphy reported in December that in 2014 and 2015, Nassar was allowed to keep seeing patients for 16 months at Michigan State while under investigation for sexual assault.

On Saturday, the first woman to publicly say that Nassar sexually assaulted her, Rachael Denhollander, expressed disappointment with the vote of confidence Simon was given:

"I wish I could say that I was surprised, but this is part and parcel to the problems we have been pointing out for 18 months. No one at Michigan State has listened since 1997 and still no one is listening. It leaves me so concerned for that campus and for little girls everywhere. If they are unwilling to listen, this is not going to change."

Lyons said he doesn't believe Simon covered up Nassar's misconduct, but he thinks "the public has lost faith in her ability to lead."

Olympic gold medal-winning gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber are among the highest-profile women to say Nassar abused them.

In addition to the 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct Nassar pleaded guilty to, he was already sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges.

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