Former US Gymnastics and Michigan State university doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison Wednesday, this after more than 150 females accused him of sexual assault.
Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon resigned Wednesday night following Nassar’s sentencing.
“I can’t believe that college athletics and college administrations (haven’t) learned their lesson after what Penn State went through,” CBSSports.com college football columnist Dennis Dodd said on Ferrall on the Bench. “They still don’t have – and I would say a large majority of schools don’t have – the crisis prevention, the crisis-management pieces in place, to prevent this kind of stuff. They all have general counsels. They all have lawyers. But those guys are after the fact. There’s ways to prevent this.”
One former gymnast, Larissa Boyce, told her coach in 1997 that Nassar sexually assaulted her. Boyce’s accusation, however, was ignored.
“So this at least goes back that far,” Dodd said. “It’s beyond the pale.”
Simon resigned somewhat reluctantly, saying that tragedies are often “politicized.”
“Well, that should not be the first word out of her mouth when there’s some unspeakable tragedy like this,” Dodd said. “Not only is she not a scapegoat, (but) she’s absolutely going to be blamed and named in (these) lawsuits. Michigan State (will) have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle these lawsuits, much like Penn State. Penn State just recently settled one of the lawsuits, and there are going to be scores more than Penn State had. So, yeah, politicized? Your name is going to be on the first line of every lawsuit that’s out there. It’s going to be a big number for Michigan State.”
Dodd credited the women and girls who spoke against Nassar, 54, in court.
“It became story after story and bigger and sadder and more compelling – and then you realize this goes along with everything that’s been happening in this country,” Dodd said. “There’s something happening in this country where women are being empowered. Hopefully this moves us as a country, as a population, to a better place – because these women now, they are brave enough to come forward. Covering this stuff for years, I’ve learned there’s a reason, a lot of times, these women don’t come forward. They’re shamed, they’re afraid of facing their accusers, they’re traumatized – and for these 168 women to do it in open court publicly is one of the bravest things I’ve ever seen.”