Letter: Michigan State alum: Simon must go
Dear Michigan State University Board of Trustees:
I can imagine there are many alumni attempting to contact you about the current legal action against Larry Nassar and the involvement of Michigan State University in this issue.
I was a once proud alumnus, proud of my University, proud of the athletic successes of the football and basketball programs in particular. I was proud of the cleanliness of these programs and proud to always be included in the national conversation year in and out.
Obviously, the national conversation has changed in recent months, most acutely this week due to the complicit nature of the University’s actions, or lack thereof, expressed in the victim impact statements. Please note, I said the actions of Michigan State University.
I want to be crystal clear; this isn’t only the human failure of the 14 or so MSU employees. It is not the failure of the gymnastics program. It is not the failure of the Athletic Department or the Department of Osteopathic Medicine. This is the failure of Michigan State University as a whole! These women made the difficult decision to communicate their experience of heinous and ongoing criminal sexual assault to responsible adults who happened to be employed or otherwise connected to MSU. Those individuals did nothing to ensure this was brought to light. They did nothing to protect, the mounting number of women who were continually assaulted or those new young woman and children that continued to feed his evil. Make no mistake; you are complicit in allowing this predator to prey. Moreover, you continued to feed him for two decades by way of your inaction.
The actions of President Lou Anna Simon this week have been deplorable and a complete embarrassment to the University both locally and nationally. Do not mistake the fact you are now in the company of Penn State and Baylor! Yes, the details are different but once you arrive at Dante’s 9th circle, your path is immaterial to your location.
If she supported these women, she should have been there the first day of the victim impact statements. She should have been open and caring in her communication. She most certainly should have offered sincere apologies for the failure of Michigan State University and perhaps for her failure as well.
“I am truly sorry for the abuse you suffered, the pain it caused and the pain it continues to cause today,” Simon said. “I’m sorry a physician who called himself a Spartan so utterly betrayed your trust and everything this university stands for.” “…a physician who called himself a Spartan…?” He wasn’t a fan of MSU, he wasn’t simply skulking around the campus, he was an employee! He didn’t individually betray the trust of the university, the university betrayed itself.
There will be an onslaught of civil lawsuits that I expect will cost the university hundreds of millions of dollars. The cost should not come on the back of current or past students or taxpayers.
Simon needs to be removed, if only for her handling of this issue over the last five days. Michigan State University needs to lay their own wounds perfectly open just like the victims and admit fully all failures. I will not be visiting the campus I truly love or donating any money to it until you correct the direction and provide the leadership and tangible understanding and care for the victims they so truly deserve.