Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon resigns amid Larry Nassar scandal

Larry Nassar had pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting seven women he was supposed to be treating

Many victims say they complained years ago but nothing happened. And in sentencing Nassar to 40 to 175 years in prison Wednesday, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina called for "a massive investigation as to why there was inaction, why there was silence".

Nassar was a member of the faculty at Michigan State for years and was the team physician for two female varsity squads. She acknowledged she was a natural focus of the anger as president.

"President Simon has offered her resignation to the Board of Trustees, and we will accept it", Brian Breslin wrote.

Sterling Riethman, a former collegiate diver who was one of Nassar's victims, said she hoped Simon's resignation would be a first, positive change. It was unclear how long she would stay in the job.

The MSU board of trustees met Wednesday to discuss ongoing litigation in civil suits related to the Nassar case that list the university as a co-defendant.

Simon said she was originally going to retire in 2016, but the transition was changed because of the wake of allegations against Nassar, which surfaced after an Indianapolis Star story broke on how USA Gymnastics handled #Sex Abuse claims against coaches and staff. "Michigan State keeps saying that 'we didn't know.' Who should I have told?" In 2014, a Title IX probe concluded that Nassar was innocent of sexual allegations brought forward. Nassar worked for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains the best gymnasts.

Simon says she originally planned to announce her retirement in December of 2016 when the first allegations about Nassar surfaced and she set aside her plans.

They say MSU officials ignored their complaints about Nassar over the past 20 years, when Lou Anna Simon served as MSU's president.

Rachael Denhollander a former gymnast listens as Nassar is sentenced
Rachael Denhollander a former gymnast listens as Nassar is sentencedCARLOS OSORIO AP

The chairman of the board of trustees said the group had accepted Simon's resignation, and will work out the details of her departure over the rest of the week.

Lou Anna Simon, who resigned under pressure Wednesday as Michigan State's president, insisted, "There is no cover-up". Former Spartan athletes are among the more than 150 women and girls who have spoken over the last week at Nassar's sentencing.

In a Thursday letter to the board, the ranking Democrat of the Senate Judiciary Committee cited the "horrific findings" by The Detroit News last week that at least 14 university representatives were notified of "serious allegations" against Nassar over almost 20 years, starting in 1997.

A prosecutor said Nassar found competitive gymnastics to be a "perfect place" for his crimes because victims saw him as a "god" in the sport. The university was starting a billion-dollar capital campaign and expanding its reach in the state, opening a medical school in Grand Rapids. How is the Michigan State case different?

As it stands now, the board's vote for supporting President Simon stands at 7-1. She would then get her salary for the next year, and 75 percent of her salary for the next two years.

Sen. Hertel, a Democrat from East Lansing where the university is located, welcomed the university president's resignation.

"This is an important step toward providing more assurance to the university community and to the public", she said.

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