As a 1979 graduate of Michigan State University, I always have been proud of my alma mater.
I fly a Michigan State flag on game day. I follow the football team and the basketball team. I even send the school money every once in awhile.
I have everlasting memories of Magic Johnson, Kirk Gibson and Jud Heathcoat. I remember covering the greatest college basketball final match-up ever held when Magic met up against Larry Bird.
But those all are memories.
After the events of this past week, I don’t know if I should feel ashamed, embarrassed, disappointed, mad or all of the above.
It all culminated with the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar, who was convicted of abusing his patients (mostly gymnasts) for more than 20 years. And more than the abuse, it was the cover-up or at least the indifference that hurts the most.
This, in part, is a letter send out to alumni by the university:
Dear MSU Community,
As you know, this week has been deeply significant for the survivors of Larry Nassar’s predation and abuse. One after another, they spoke out bravely in open court last week. They asked that their voices be heard, for responsiveness, for action. We acknowledge their voices and say to the survivors, their families and everyone in our community affected by sexual violence that we are deeply sorry and we recognize that change is overdue.
Today, the Board of Trustees met to take important actions to begin a new day at MSU. We voted to formally accept the resignation of President Lou Anna K. Simon, effective immediately, and appointed Vice President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees Bill Beekman as acting president. In addition, earlier today, Athletic Director Mark Hollis announced his retirement, effective Jan. 31. ...
... But this is just the beginning. We acknowledge that there have been failures at MSU, not only in our processes and operations, but in our culture, and we are united in our determination to take all necessary steps to begin a new day and to change the environment at the university. The Board has initiated action to bring in an independent third-party to perform a top-to-bottom review of all our processes relating to health and safety, in every area of the university, and to provide recommendations that we will implement to change the culture of MSU on this important issue. ...
... We cannot change the past, but we can and will devote our time and resources to foster healing and to move forward together.
Brian S. Breslin
Chair, MSU Board of Trustees
Blah, blah, blah. They call that CYA.
They always say the cover-up is worse than the crime.
These are tough times in our country. Years and years of abuse are coming to light.
Big names are dropping one after another.
Right now Michigan State is in the spotlight. Next week it will be somebody else.
It’s sad. But it is the right thing to do, no matter how much it hurts.
Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at [email protected]