Michigan State interim president blasts ESPN report

Michigan State University interim president John Engler has issued a scathing statement in response to ESPN Outside the Lines report that associated the school’s basketball and football programs with the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. 

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Nassar has since been sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting over 200 women and girls under the guise of medical treatment during his decades long tenure. In the aftermath of the scandal, both university president Lou Anna K. Simon and athletic director Mark Hollis resigned. 

Engler’s email to MSU faculty and students blasted what he called “a sensationalized package of reporting” in ESPN’s report, and showed support for coaches Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo. The report, though not calling out the coaches by name, alleged that both programs had a culture of sexual assault, and that both were said to have mishandled cases of sexual assault. 

Finally, I viewed with great concern a recent ESPN report that gathered considerable national attention in no small part because it showed a promotional graphic of our head football and men’s basketball coaches with Larry Nassar,” Engler wrote. “This was a sensationalized package of reporting that contained allegations and insinuations that we are now reviewing. The coaches were asked to refrain from comment while the reports were examined. That has been a burden that must be lifted. I hope that MSU can soon respond in full and affirm the integrity and probity that has been the hallmark of these two respected coaches.”

Here is the full statement:


The fallout from the sexual abuse scandal involving disgraced former doctor Larry Nassar is continuing at Michigan State University, and took a new turn on Wednesday with the resignation of president Lou Anna K. Simon. Many believe that Simon had at least some knowledge of Nassar’s activities, but didn’t do anything about it. 

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