Michigan State President Resigns Amid Backlash for Criticizing Larry Nassar’s Victims

The former governor was brought in to help the university recover from the damage wrought by Nassar.

Michigan State president
Interim President of Michigan State University, John Engler, has resigned. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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Michigan State president John Engler resigned on Wednesday after receiving heavy criticism for his comments about the female athletes who were sexually abused by the school’s former gymnastics physician, Larry Nassar.

Engler announced his resignation in an 11-page letter to Dianne Byrum, chairwoman of Michigan State’s Board of Trustees, the Associated Press reported. His notice did not include any mention of the backlash he’s faced.

Last week, Engler told The Detroit News that Nassar’s victims had been in the “spotlight” and are “still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition.”

It was evidently the “final straw” for the university’s board of trustees — who requested he step down. With Engler’s sudden reversal, the former governor joins a long list of people, the AP noted, who have been fired, forced out of their jobs or charged with crimes amid fallout from the school’s handling of the once-renowned sports doctor, stretching back decades.

Nassar is now serving decades-long prison sentences for sexually assaulting patients and possessing child pornography.

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