MSU faces fallout of Larry Nassar scandal after president resign - WNEM TV 5

MSU faces fallout of Larry Nassar scandal after president resigns

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Larry Nassar (Source: CNN) Larry Nassar (Source: CNN)

After the resignation of Michigan State University’s president in the wake of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal, the campus was thrown into crisis mode.

Many are speculating who might be next.

Lou Anna Simon stepped down as president after calls for her to resign were growing louder by the day.

“I think it’s what’s best for the school,” said Ashley Astor, MSU student.

Astor said Simon did the right thing when she resigned amid the controversy surrounding the university’s handling of the Nassar case.

The case officially came to a close when a judge sentenced the former USA and MSU Gymnastics doctor to up to 175 years in prison for multiple sex related crimes.

Now that Simon is out, Astor wonders whether MSU will be able to bounce back from one of the darkest chapters in the school’s history.

“She does hold a high position at this school and people looked at her with respect. And after this came out, it’s hard to go to a school and know that’s who’s leading us,” Astor said.

Astor is not alone in that opinion. Several other students said the hope administrators will learn from this and do the right thing moving forward.

“Whoever our new president is will hopefully be a supporter of survivors and that’s what we really need,” said Emily Allen, student.

In a show of solidarity, several students came together to write the names of Nassar’s victims on the rock at MSU.

“I was so inspired by all of the survivors that came forward and I think that on campus we really need to put this as the forefront issue that it is. It’s a cancer,” Allen said.

Meanwhile, Astor is just glad justice is finally being served to Nassar. She hopes more women on campus will feel encouraged to speak up.

“If not, even just being Michigan State girls, it being across the nation, I think that’s exactly what needed to be done for him,” Astor said.

How to recover

"The university was only reactive, not proactive, not realizing that it had a major public relations problem on its hand until it was too late," said TJ Bucholz, president and CEO of Vanguard Public Affairs.

He said MSU's response to the Nassar controversy is a perfect example of doing too little too late. He said the university could have easily avoided the fallout if it would have got in front of the issue.

"When these universities are proactive and come out in favor of the victims and try to get to the bottom of things quickly, that's what people expect," Bucholz said.

Bucholz said the university has a lot to do to restore its image. He said that means starting by getting rid of anyone who may have been involved in covering it up.

"We know that 14 to 16 officials knew at some point in time before this happened that this was a problem. Those people likely have to go. I think we're probably going to see a complete reversal of the board of trustees, see new blood in there overtime. I mean, this is not over," Bucholz said.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said his office will go over a review of their investigation next week.

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