MSU President Quits After Nassar Sentenced

Lou Anna Simon denies there was a cover-up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2018 12:45 AM CST
MSU Presidents Quits After Nassar Sentenced
Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon is shown during an NCAA college football game against Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in East Lansing, Mich.   (AP Photo/Al Goldis)

(Newser) – The "death warrant" a judge delivered to disgraced former doctor Larry Nassar on Wednesday also marked the end of Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon's career. The university's first female president said she was resigning because "as tragedies are politicized, blame is inevitable," and "as president, it is only natural that I am the focus of this anger," reports. In a letter on the university website, Simon said there had been no cover-up at MSU, where Nassar was a faculty member and the women's gymnastics team physician. Some 140 women who say they were abused by Nassar are suing MSU, where he was allowed to continue seeing patients for 29 months after they received a formal complaint and a criminal investigation was opened in 2014.

Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years Wednesday for sexual abuse. In the letter, Simon, who had been president since 2004, wrote: "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 she had planned to retire in 2016 but decided to stay on to deal with the Nassar investigation. Some of the more than 150 victims who delivered statements at Nassar's sentencing hearing or had statements read, including McKayla Maroney, said Simon and MSU should be held accountable, reports the Detroit Free Press. "Come hell or high water, we will take every last one of you down that could have stopped this monster," said former gymnast Amy Labadie. (Here's what some of the other victims said.)

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