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Archive for January 27, 2018

Jan. 27, 2018 — Where will the trail lead?

The fallout from the sentencing of former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State team doctor Larry Nassar on sexual assault and child pornography charges has started to gain momentum.

Over the last day or so:

  • Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon resigned;
  • Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis announced his near-instant retirement;
  • The balance of the USA Gymnastics Board of Directors entered their resignation, following what the executive committee did two days ago
  • The U.S. Congress, the U.S Department of Justice, the U.S. Olympic Committee, the NCAA, and the Michigan Attorney General all announced the start of investigations into the matter
  • A bombshell report from ESPN accuses members of the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams of sex assaults, and accuses the athletic department of protecting the student-athletes from prosecution.

It’s the last story that should shake every NCAA Division I institution to its very core.

Since the 1960s, many universities have used female “hostesses” as chaperones for student visits and as guides during the first weeks of school. It’s not known how many interactions between students and these hostesses crossed the line into sex assaults, but a spate of incidents in the early 2000s shone a harsh light on the practice.

The student-athletes in the revenue sports have also received a different level of treatment from campus law enforcement from the rest of the student body.

And it’s these kinds of practices which have led to lax oversight of athletic departments and teams, leading to the likes of Larry Nassar being hired at Michigan State.

I’m likely to see the names of people I have gotten to know over the last 20 years being splashed in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

Get ready. This is going to get ugly.