Nassar Verdict Bodes Trouble for Michigan State, USA Gymnastics

Emma Lazerson, Views Editor

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Lawrence G. Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 150 years in prison for perpetuated sexual assault against more than 150 young gymnasts on Jan. 24, 2018.

 

Amid his sentencing, allegations of dubious complicity were reported against Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics.

 

According to the New York Times, five women had reported sexual abuse by Nassar “as early as the late 1990s.”  Yet, when Patrick J. Fitzgerald took over the investigation against Nassar in 2016, he reported that there was no predatory behavior.

 

“Michigan State led the public to believe that there had been an independent investigation,” Republican speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives told the New York Times.  “…As we continued to dig into this, we found out it was not an independent investigation.  It was an internal investigation to shield them from liability.”

 

Cheerleader and senior Lindsey Dial found the actions of Michigan State and USA Gymnastics repugnant.

 

“I have been a competitive gymnast for over 10 years, competing all over the United States, and it absolutely disturbs me that Nassar believes that he has the right to sexually touch young, innocent girls,” she said.  “Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee should be ashamed for their lack of accountability.”

 

In wake of the allegations against the university, Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan State, has resigned, according to CNN.  Other Michigan State officials, such as Mark Hollis, the athletic director for 23 years, also resigned.

 

The entire USA Gymnastics board left their positions after Olympic urgings, according to NBC.

 

NBC also reported that after both Maggie Nichols and Aly Raisman came to USA Gymnastics, the organization told Raisman that it did not have “reasonable suspicion” to launch an investigation against Nassar.

 

Dial believes that more needs to be done for the victims.

 

“It is sickening to know USA Gymnastics, the United States Olympic Committee and Michigan State University have protected Nassar over the many athletes for so long,” she said. “I don’t feel (that) justice has been served from Nassar’s sentencing, and I will not be able to until those people are held accountable for this disaster.”

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