Larry Nassar abuse scandal: Michigan State University president resigns amid widening calls for accountability
The fallout from an Olympic sexual-abuse scandal continued to spread Wednesday, as officials called for top sports and academic leaders to resign over victims’ allegations that several institutions had enabled Dr. Larry Nassar’s abuse of gymnasts and other young athletes for decades.
Simon said she was profoundly moved by the records of gymnasts who had endured under Nassar. “They are deplorable, appalling and by and by terrible,” said Simon, the organization’s leader since 2004.
Prior to the day, the United States Olympic Committee’s CEO required the whole USA Gymnastics board to leave and undermined to decertify the association as the country’s acrobatic administering body unless changes are made.
“The Olympic family is among those that have fizzled you,” Scott Blackmun wrote in an open letter to competitors posted on the Team USA site. He said the board of trustees is propelling an examination “by an autonomous outsider to look at how a to manhandle of this extent could have gone undetected for so long.”
Harsh scrutiny also continued to fall on Michigan State University, whose administrators failed to act after victims raised red flags about Nassar’s behavior as early as the 1990s. The Michigan state House voted 96 to 11 for a resolution calling for Simon’s resignation.
In a statement after Nassar’s sentencing Wednesday, Perry said the victims’ accounts “have left a lasting impression on all of us” and that “every day, their stories will impact my decisions as president and CEO.”
Perry added: “As stated on my first day on Dec. 1, 2017, I will not waiver on my commitment to focus each and every day on our organization’s highest priority — the safety, health, and well-being of our athletes. We will create a culture that empowers and supports them. Our commitment is uncompromising, and it is my hope that everything he does going forward makes this very clear.”
One of the gymnasts assaulted there, Mattie Larson, told the court that she was so afraid to return to the ranch, which she described as a perfect environment for a predator, that she purposely injured herself so she wouldn’t have to go back.
“I have never felt so small and disposable in my life,” Larson said.