A Michigan State trustee said the university's board discussed the future of President Lou Anna Simon.

By Charlotte Carroll
January 23, 2018

A Michigan State trustee said the university's board spent 10 minutes of a five-hour meeting deciding the fate of President Lou Anna Simon amid the university's involvement in the Larry Nassar abuse scandal, he said on the WVFN's radio program "Staudt on Sports." 

Trustee Joel Ferguson said the board is "going to support her staying as president."

"There’s so many more things going on at the university than just this Nassar thing," Ferguson said.

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.

Nassar's final sentencing hearing has been extended as more women and girls have come forward to identify themselves and give victim impact statements. 

Ferguson was adamant that Simon would not be forced out of the university, saying she's been the best president the university has had in his 30 years as a board member.

At one point during the interview, Ferguson said when one goes the Breslin Center, "the person who hustled and got all those major donors to give money was Lou Anna Simon. There’s just so many things that make up being president at a university that keeps everything moving and everything right with the deans, everything at a school where we have a waiting list of students who want to come."

He laughed at the idea of the NCAA investigating Michigan State, saying "This is not Penn State. They were dealing with their football program. ... They're smart enough to know they're not competent to walk in here on this."

The Board of Trustees gave Simon a vote of confidence, and only one trustee, Mitch Lyons, has called for Simon's resignation. 

Michigan State has faced intense backlash as it continues to support Simon. 

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