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MSU's Athletic Council Responds To Statements at Nassar Hearing

Larry Nassar photo
Katie Cook
Larry Nassar in court hearing

The council at Michigan State University that advises the Athletic Director and President issued a statement saying the university failed the women abused by fired gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. 

The statement was issued on Monday, January 22, the fifth day of victim impact statements during the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar. 

The sports doctor sat in the witness chair last week as more than 80 women and girls described the impact of being assaulted by him.

Nassar has admitted molesting athletes during treatment when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

The statement is authored by MSU School of Journalism professor Sue Carter, who is also MSU's Faculty Athletic Representative. Carter said it was shared with President Lou Anna K. Simon and Athletic Director Mark Hollis.

The statement reads as follows:

The courage of the women who have spoken out and testified about their sexual assault by former Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar is dramatic and the harm they endured is appalling. Their stories of repeated abuse, sometimes for years, is profoundly imprinted on us. The pain these athletes have endured horrifies us and we grieve for and with them. They are our MSU daughters and athletes entrusted in our care, and the university failed them. We are profoundly sorry for what they experienced, and for the ways their lives have been unspeakably altered. We are ashamed that these disgusting actions were perpetrated by a member of our community. The women’s resolution in sharing intimate details of deceptive medical treatment shows true leadership. We are proud of their strength. This must never again happen on our campus or, more importantly, to vulnerable girls and young women anywhere. As members of the Athletic Council, we are only advisory to the Athletic Director and to the President. Still, we have a voice. We use that voice now to say that our university can, and must, be better than this. Allowing unconscionable and criminal behavior does not represent the values of this pioneer land-grant university. Those who are found to be culpable must be held accountable.

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