Spartan Nation wrote yesterday that two MSU board of Trustee sources told us that they expected President Lou Anna K. Simonnot to be the President after yesterday's meeting. They made it CLEAR to me that they supported her, but they felt that those who were not in support of her, "Had the votes to pressure her." While many tried to guess who the sources were, many thought one of them was Trustee Mitch Lyons. He was not.
After the board issues a statement of unanimous support for her after the meeting, tonight there is a crack in the damn of support for the Spartans leader for the board elected by the people of the state of Michigan as her boss. Lyons contacted Spartan Nation earlier tonight with the statement below. Sources on the board informed Spartan Nation last night that Lyons, "Was the only one in the meeting calling for her to go." He confirms that in this statement. Here is the statement in its totality:
Let me start by saying, as a husband and father, I hurt for the survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse and have been moved by their brave testimony this week.
I have been very troubled since yesterday’s board statement. While I do agree that bringing in the Attorney General to review the situation is in MSU’s and the public’s best interest, and that bringing outside counsel in to help guide this board through this unprecedented time is wise, I do not agree with our statement of support for President Simon. As I expressed repeatedly to fellow board members during our discussion Friday, I don’t feel that President Simon can survive the public outcry that has been generated by this tragedy and even less so after hearing the testimony of these brave survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse. I feel that our best recourse is for President Simon to resign immediately in order to allow the healing process to begin, first and foremost for the survivors and secondarily for our university. I believe that without question, the public has lost confidence in Dr. Simon to effectively lead this university and I believe that this loss of confidence is irreparable.
This is not a personal indictment of President Simon. To date, this board has not been presented with any evidence that would suggest she knew anything of the monster that Larry Nassar is until 2016. I believe he hid behind the legitimacy of known medical procedures to prey on young girls and women. While mistakes were made, I don’t believe anyone at MSU, including President Simon, knowingly engaged in any coverup or criminal wrongdoing at any time. However, while President Simon has done many great things during her time at MSU, this atrocity is simply too much to overcome and our institutional accountability has been compromised. I have empathy for the position she is in but her legacy does not take precedence over the survivors.
This board has prided itself on presenting itself as a unified board over the years, even when we had disagreements. However, on this issue I strongly disagree and, while I am only one voice on this board, I can’t in good conscience remain silent on this issue.
Lastly, before people question whether I’m doing this for political gain given that my term ends the end of this year, I have no intention of running for re-election in November of 2018. My only hope is that everyone impacted by this tragedy can begin healing with God’s grace. God bless the survivors.
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