Scott Olson/Getty Images

The call for her resignation comes amid reports that Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon was notified of Larry Nassar's abuse.

By Daniel Rapaport
January 18, 2018

Amid reports Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon was notified of Larry Nassar's abuse years before his crimes were made public and failed to respond properly, Michigan State's student newspaper The State News has called for her to resign. 

The front page of Thursday's paper reads "President Simon, RESIGN," and the newspaper's editorial board penned a piece outlining why they believe Simon, who has denied any wrongdoing, must resign to aid the victims' healing process. 

"President Lou Anna K. Simon, we now speak directly to you," the editorial says. "Whether or not you admit guilt in this storyline, you need to do the right thing. 

"Survivors of ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse cannot move on without change. You 'apologized' to them, you have thrown money at them, but about the only thing you haven't done is listen. 

"Simon, if you're the Spartan you claim to be, you will step down and bow out gracefully. We hope you make the right choice, because time's up." 

On Thursday, the The Detroit News ran a piece that claims victims of Nassar's abuse reported his misconduct to at least 14 Michigan State university representatives, including Simon. In the piece, multiple victims accuse the university of not doing nearly enough to investigate, with some even going as far as to say the university made them feel shameful for reporting his misconduct at all.

Simon told The Detroit News that she was made aware that a Title IX complaint and a police complaint had been filed against a unnamed physician. 

“I was informed that a sports medicine doctor was under investigation,” Simon told the paper. “I told people to play it straight up, and I did not receive a copy of the report. That’s the truth.”

Police believed Nassar's account, which suggested his treatments—in which he often digitally penetrated girls' vaginas—were legitimate medical practices, and the Title IX complaint concluded that his conduct was not sexual in nature. 

Simon declined to comment on the multiple women who say they told Michigan State that Nassar had abused them. 

“Those issues are points of dispute and part of civil litigation and I am not going to comment on,” she told The Detroit News. “What I can tell you is what I knew, straight up. My standard response is to tell people to play things straight up and I did not receive a copy of the report."

Simon has been president of Michigan State sine 2003. She also serves as the chairwoman of the executive committee of the NCAA. 

Nassar was a well-respected physician who, in addition to his work at Michigan State, tended to some of the United States' most famous Olympic athletes. Olympic gold medalists McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Simone Biles have all said that Nassar abused them under the guise of medical treatment. He has pleaded guilty to assaulting nine girls but faces civil suits from more than 150 others. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography and will appear in court Thursday for the third of a four-day sentencing hearing for multiple counts of sexual misconduct. 

Each of Nassar's 100+ accusers have been given the chance to make victims' statements during the four-day hearing, and the women have given powerfully harrowing accounts of Nassar's abuse to his face.

You May Like