Michigan State University (MSU) Athletic Director Mark Hollis resigned on Friday with a tearful statement, becoming the latest administration official to leave the school in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal and it looks increasingly likely he wont be the last.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines launched an investigative report into MSU and claimed they found “a pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression” across the school’s administration, from campus police to high profile coaches. The report found that 16 members football team have been accused of sexual assault or violence against women.
The NCAA has already opened a separate investigation into the school’s handling of sexual assault and abuse allegations.
Head football coach Mark Dantonio and head basketball coach Tom Izzo said yesterday they have no plans to resign their positions.
“Every incident reported in that [ESPN] article was documented by either police or the Michigan State Title IX office,” Dantonio the Detroit Free Press. “I have always worked with the proper authorities when dealing with cases of sexual assault.”
An explosive report in The Athletic claims that NCAA president Mark Emmert was informed in 2010 of at least 35 cases of sexual assault committed by Michigan State athletes, but did nothing.
Many experts are confident that there was a pattern of inaction that parallels the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, which resulted in the school’s former president being jailed for failing to report sexual assault allegations and has cost the university more than $120 million in fines and legal settlements to date.
Multiple reports say that MSU officials were told of sexual misconduct and abuse by Nassar as far back as 1997. Many of Nassar’s victims said at his sentencing trial that the school was responsible for allowing the abuse to go unchecked for many years.
The school has appointed an acting president to take over for Lou Anna Simon, who resigned last week. The Board of Trustees will then hire and interim president while they search for a permanent leader.
Regardless of who is in charge, it looks likely that the school is facing a watershed moment in its history, with many more dark days on the horizon.
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