DETROIT — A Michigan State University trustee is calling for the university president to resign over the school’s handling of the sexual assault scandal involving former gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
Trustee Mitch Lyons issued a statement Saturday breaking ranks with fellow board members who said a day earlier they supported President Lou Anna Simon.
Lyons tells the Detroit Free Press that he doesn’t agree and says: “I don’t believe President Simon can survive the public outcry that has been generated by this tragedy.” He called for her to quit, “to let the healing process begin.”
More than 80 girls and women, including some Olympians, gave statements last week at the sentencing for Nassar, who worked at Michigan State and as a team doctor for USA Gymnastics.
Nassar pleaded guilty to molesting females at his Michigan State University office, his home and a Lansing-area gymnastics club. He also worked for Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. He already has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes.
Board of Trustees Chairman Brian Breslin said in a statement responding to Lyons that all the other trustees continue to support Simon.
“The Board of Trustees shares the outrage of the survivors over the egregious crimes committed by Larry Nassar on the campus of Michigan State University and in his work outside the university with USA Gymnastics and other organizations. The stories told in court this week are heartbreaking,” Breslin said.
The trustees have asked Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office to investigate the university’s handling of the scandal.
“We look forward to a prompt and thorough investigation by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office to help reassure the public that the university and its leadership have nothing to hide,” Breslin said.
Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles on Monday said she was among the athletes sexually abused by Nassar. Other Olympians among Nassar’s victims include Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney and Gabby Douglas. Raisman was among confronting Nassar at his sentencing hearing; she spoke in court on Friday.
The criminal cases against Nassar followed reports last year in The Indianapolis Star about how USA Gymnastics mishandled complaints about sexual misconduct involving the doctor and coaches.
Many of the accusers have sued Michigan State, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee.