Sue Carter resigns as MSU faculty athletic rep

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — Sue Carter resigned as Michigan State’s faculty athletic representative on Wednesday.

The news comes a day after the NCAA sent a letter of inquiry to the university saying it was beginning an investigation into how Michigan State handled the case of Larry Nassar, the sports doctor who sexually assaulted dozens of young women, some of those Michigan State student-athletes.

“I no longer have the desire or the heart to support this administration going forward,” Carter said in her letter of resignation sent to university president Lou Anna K. Simon and copied to athletic director Mark Hollis. “As both professor and priest, I am profoundly saddened by Michigan State University’s public posture and seemingly callous regard for these girls and women.”

Nassar on Wednesday was sentenced to 40-175 years in prison.

Carter has been the faculty’s athletic representative to the NCAA since 2014. Appointed by the university president, the representative is a tenured faculty member who represents the university and its faculty in the university’s relationships with the NCAA and the Big Ten.

She was the chairperson for the Athletic Council, which functions as the faculty voice in intercollegiate athletics on issues of academic policy related to student-athletes.

On Monday, that group issued a statement — written by Carter — saying Michigan State failed the women that were abused by Nassar. By Wednesday, she had made the decision to step away from her role as faculty representative.

“I was dismayed by the events last week, including President Simon’s time in the courtroom Tuesday and the Board’s decision to thoroughly back her on Friday,” Carter told The News. “With those in my mind I crafted the statement that I shared with the Athletic Council and I invited any others on the Council to join in and seven, now eight have done that. In (the statement) I focused on the lack of compassion that I had witnessed throughout the process, and that became the crystalizing event for me.”

More:What MSU knew: 14 were warned of Nassar abuse

Carter is a professor in the MSU School of Journalism and joined the faculty in 1991 after a 17-year career as a news broadcaster and talk show host at radio and television stations in Michigan, Connecticut and Ontario, Canada.

Carter also served as secretary of the Board of Trustees and an executive assistant to Presidents Peter McPherson and Simon.

She is also a graduate of Michigan State, which has made this move even more difficult.

“I’ve walked away from something I really cared a lot about and still do,” Carter said. “I matriculated at Michigan State University in 1968, so I’ve had a very long-standing relationship with one of the best universities I can imagine. I went there and graduated, my daughter went there and graduated in journalism as well, so I love this place. To see the institution that I care so much about, and the people who are part of this institution, be dragged through the mud because of the unwillingness of some individuals to step forward and accept responsibility and to be compassionate broke my heart.”

Simon, who has been under intense pressure to step down, resigned Wednesday night.

Carter said she hopes the university finds a way to come out of this period.

“Generally, there needs to be change in order to have progress and move forward,” she said. “I’ll never forget the Doonesbury cartoon when (President Gerald) Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford took over and there was a wall that had been built up in the cartoon panels. All the sudden Ford is in place and chip, chip, chip the wall comes down and the sunshine is there.

“I have so thought of that cartoon today and thought, ‘Yeah, it’s time.’”