STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Michigan State president resigns over Nassar scandal

In the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan State University, is resi...

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 11:42 AM
Updated: Jan 25, 2018 11:42 AM

In the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan State University, is resigning, according to a letter posted on the school's website.

Nassar is a former longtime school employee. He was sentenced Wednesday to up to 175 years in prison for the sexual assault of young female athletes.

"Throughout my career, I have consistently and persistently spoken and worked on behalf of Team MSU. I have tried to make it not about me," Simon wrote. "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."

The chairman of the board of trustees said the group had accepted Simon's resignation, and will work out the details of her departure over the rest of the week.

"We greatly appreciate her integrity, her many contributions, and her willingness to continue to serve through transition," Brian Breslin said in a statement posted below Simon's on the MSU website.

Simon had recently come under fire for what critics say is the mishandling of the Nassar scandal. They say the school's leader of 13 years had been tone deaf and needs to be among those held accountable for what happened while Nassar was employed as a sports physician at MSU from 1997 to 2016.

The Detroit News recently reported that misconduct allegations against Nassar reached at least 14 MSU representatives in the two decades before his arrest.

Michigan State maintains that no official believed Nassar committed sexual abuse until newspapers began reporting on the allegations during the summer of 2016. Any suggestion that the university engaged in a cover-up is "simply false," an MSU statement asserted last week.

Simon expressed sympathy for Nassar's many victims.

"To the survivors, I can never say enough that I am so sorry that a trusted, renowned physician was really such an evil, evil person who inflicted such harm under the guise of medical treatment," she said. "I know that we all share the same resolve to do whatever it takes to avert such tragedies here and elsewhere."

'Our voices are being heard'

Tom Leonard, the speaker of the House in Michigan, applauded Simon's decision while criticizing the school.

"I am glad Lou Anna Simon finally did the right thing. The university's response to this crisis simply hasn't been good enough, and I hope that changes going forward for the sake of both the victims and the entire Michigan State University community," Leonard said.

Sterling Riethman, a former collegiate diver who was one of Nassar's victims, said she hoped Simon's resignation would be a first, positive change.

"It's encouraging to see that our voices are being heard, and I'm grateful for her acknowledgment of this tragedy," she said.

Olivia Cowan and Larissa Boyce were among several of Nassar's victims who said during their impact statements that the university failed to protect them. Nassar treated many non-MSU students -- many of them children or teenagers -- on campus.

"A public apology after you've hid behind this monster for over 20 years will never be enough. Where were you when we needed you?" Cowan recently told the court. "If you would have only listened to the women that brought complaints and concerns over all these years, this would have saved so many women and children from being abused, and from all the scars this has created."

"I told Michigan State University back in 1997," Boyce said. "Instead of being protected, I was humiliated. I was in trouble and brainwashed into believing that I was the problem."

Simon had announced a $10 million fund to help Nassar's victims access counseling and mental health services.

NCAA is looking at Michigan State

The NCAA, the governing body of collegiate sports, is investigating Michigan State's handling of sexual abuse allegations against Nassar.

In a statement, the NCAA said it's looking into whether the university violated any rules.

"The NCAA has sent a letter of inquiry to Michigan State University regarding potential NCAA rules violations related to the assaults Larry Nassar perpetrated against girls and young women, including some student-athletes at Michigan State," the NCAA said. It did not provide additional details.

Jason Cody, a spokesman for Michigan State, said Tuesday the university is reviewing the letter for a response.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 308111

Reported Deaths: 7122
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20826248
Hinds19910411
Harrison17510302
Rankin13334276
Jackson13118243
Madison9908210
Lee9871170
Jones8297160
Forrest7525147
Lauderdale7198237
Lowndes6272144
Lamar611084
Lafayette6039117
Washington5281133
Bolivar4772129
Oktibbeha455897
Panola4445103
Pearl River4428141
Warren4284118
Marshall4276100
Pontotoc416972
Monroe4061132
Union403975
Neshoba3994176
Lincoln3871109
Hancock372885
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329589
Tate322782
Pike3188104
Scott310872
Yazoo304468
Alcorn298065
Itawamba297177
Copiah293265
Coahoma289778
Simpson288284
Tippah284868
Prentiss275759
Marion266079
Leake261373
Wayne261341
Grenada255384
Covington254780
Adams246082
Newton245161
George238147
Winston225981
Tishomingo222267
Jasper219748
Attala213473
Chickasaw205057
Holmes186872
Clay182854
Stone179331
Clarke177076
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163531
Yalobusha159236
Smith158834
Walthall130643
Greene129433
Lawrence126423
Noxubee126233
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120926
Amite120141
Webster113532
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102725
Claiborne101330
Benton97325
Kemper95428
Humphreys94332
Franklin82123
Quitman78916
Choctaw73417
Wilkinson64928
Jefferson64828
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 520503

Reported Deaths: 10722
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754091487
Mobile38938798
Madison33898495
Tuscaloosa25297443
Montgomery23992567
Shelby23124239
Baldwin20652300
Lee15541165
Calhoun14301311
Morgan14145270
Etowah13665346
Marshall11967219
Houston10381278
Elmore10001200
Limestone9822147
Cullman9481188
St. Clair9435234
Lauderdale9223227
DeKalb8748181
Talladega8071171
Walker7100275
Jackson6762110
Autauga6734103
Blount6497135
Colbert6210130
Coffee5404112
Dale4766110
Russell429038
Franklin419982
Chilton4087109
Covington4056114
Tallapoosa3898146
Escambia388574
Dallas3531149
Chambers3503122
Clarke346560
Marion3066100
Pike305876
Lawrence295395
Winston272572
Bibb256459
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens233059
Barbour225255
Hale218775
Butler212566
Fayette209260
Henry187744
Cherokee182144
Randolph176941
Monroe172040
Washington164238
Macon154848
Clay149555
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146241
Lamar139334
Lowndes136553
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109128
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene91034
Choctaw58724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 63°
Columbus
Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 66°
Oxford
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Starkville
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 63°
Showers linger across the area as a cold front passes Wednesday afternoon. This will keep temperatures far cooler than average. Some of these showers may linger into the overnight as well.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather