Should Michigan State Be Received As Baylor Or Penn State Now...???
((HT: Photo Courtesy: Fox2Detroit))
The look is, strangely, reminiscent of Jerry Sandusky: Hang-dog, guilty, forlorn, tired...
And equally scary...
Disgraced Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar is approaching the half-way point of hearing victim impact statements as he awaits sentencing from a judge over a decades-long pattern of sexual abuse of athletes. He could get up to 125 years in prison in addition to the 60 years he has already on the calendar for a federal child pornography conviction.
Here was day one, thanks to out friends at WLNS-TV
The Day One response from the university before driving the 15,000 feet to see the courtroom activity for Day Two...???
“Words cannot express the sorrow we feel for Nassar’s victims; the thoughts and prayers of the entire MSU community are with these women as we listen to their heartbreaking testimony,” it said. “We are committed to supporting those in our community affected by these terrible crimes and have created the Healing Assistance Fund to help survivors access any counseling and mental health services they may need. We want to say again that we are truly sorry for the abuse Nassar’s victims suffered, the pain it caused and the pain it continues to cause.”
Yahoo!Sports Dan Wetzel has been there since the beginning and reported on the systemic failure of Michigan State to act- for decades...
His December work outlines abuses appear to have been reported as far back as 1997- and Michigan State continued to let him work on campus:
1) After one investigation exonerated him,
2) After a Title IX investigation came up with nothing,
3) Even as another university investigation was still going on,
4) And after a year-and-a-half passed before a county police detective "talked" to Nassar about his behavior and recommended he stop...
But Wetzel has a larger point here and it needs to be paid attention to as we go forward:
Nassar likely molested hundreds of girls, from local preteen athletes to famed Olympic champions, terrorizing a chain of victims shockingly larger than even Sandusky (who has approximately 33 known victims).
Who knew what? Who knew it when? What else is there?
Somehow the truth is being left to be pieced together by civil suits and FOIA requests and random leaks, not by the attorney general or the FBI or the DOJ.
This was terrorism. Larry Nassar is a terrorist, of girls and gymnasts and families and communities.
If it could have, or should have, been stopped, then find out by who.
If there is a lesson to be learned going forward to prevent it from occurring again, then someone with real strength and real power needs to finally step up, find out and disclose it all.
The question not only applies to a university that watched a web stream of Day One testimony, but to USA Gymnastics as well. USAG, you'll recall, paid McKayla Maroney not to discuss publicly her abuse by Nassar- or face a six-figure fine. After Maroney was coming forward anyway, USAG said it was okay for her to talk about it and that they never discouraged her from doing so in the first place- even as she signed a non-disclosure agreement.
Got all that...???
Michigan State deserves some serious investigating here- on multiple fronts: academic, athletic, and infrastructure. And because this situation is, in number only, three times worse than Sandusky- shouldn't the Michigan Attorney General investigate this systemic failure over decades that impacted so many families...???
I understand... that makes too much sense here...
But the point here is: Anyone... sorry, emphasis needs to be added here...
Anyone that knew, disregarded, or shirked their duties in not stopping a serial predator needs to lose their job and need to be investigated themselves- and face the same audience that Nassar is facing this week...
Three miles from where a lot of his history was made...
I'm sure folks like John Barr and the Indianapolis Star would be more than happy to give the AG a path...
Now, with Michigan State staring at criminal charges and a Title IX violation on an astronomical scale, how does MSU get viewed from here on...???
Frankly, can you give a Death Penalty over activity like this...??? You can, but it won't happen... it doesn't make a whole lot of sense and doesn't help the athletes currently in East Lansing. Penalizing the present for the past is swinging for the fences.
Can you hit the university hardest in the pocket book somehow with a massive fine from the NCAA- much like what Mark Emmert did with Penn State and Sandusky...??? Probably, but the "want to" gene would have to be there from the Association, and something would have to compel them to act.
If this four days aren't that, the HQ doesn't know what would...
And what could the United States Olympic Committee do other than clean house at USAG...???
That's where another question lies...??? And, once again, the "want to" gene would have to be there...
Day Two gave MSU a chance to enter the courtroom and confront their past:
Michigan State University put out a statement during the Victim Impact Hearings. Here is that statement: Many at MSU, including President Simon and Board of Trustee Chairperson Brian Breslin, have been viewing the brave women who have come forward to tell their stories at Larry Nassar's sentencing hearing. Words cannot express the sorrow we feel for Nassar's victims; the thoughts and prayers of the entire MSU community are with these women as we listen to their heartbreaking testimony. We are committed to supporting those in our community affected by these terrible crimes and have created the Healing Assistance Fund to help survivors access any counseling and mental health services they may need. We want to say again that we are truly sorry for the abuse Nassar's victims suffered, the pain it caused and the pain it continues to cause. But as we have said previously, any suggestion that the university covered up Nassar's horrific conduct is simply false. Nassar preyed on his victims, changing their lives in terrible ways.
Baylor is still trying to find their way after the scandal that was unearthed- and they will for quite some time even as some of the players in that situation are finding their way back in to the workforce. But if MSU is found to be what it appears they may from all this testimony, word hopefully spreads...
Change is a good thing sometimes- and in East Lansing, it should be systemically mandatory.