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ESPN reports huge sex assault problem at MSU -- and it's more than just Nassar

Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo and Michigan State Spartans head football coach Mark Dantonio prior to a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Breslin Center on January 13, 2018 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Michigan State University continues to be exposed for its failures and cover-ups related to allegations of sexual crimes in the wake of former athletic doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse convictions.

Two days after the university’s president resigned, the Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis also announced his retirement, and a report by ESPN’s Outside the Lines detailed a culture of sexual assault that was suppressed or ignored by school administration and police.

What the report said

16 players have been accused of sexual assault or violence against women from the Michigan State football program since 2007, contradicting comments by head coach Mike Dantonio that four players who were charged with criminal sexual conduct represented the first such incidents in his tenure.

Several incidents occurred in the men’s basketball program under head coach Tom Izzo, most notably involving an undergraduate student-assistant coach who was allowed to coach after being charged for punching a female student in the face at a bar in 2010, and being accused of sexually assaulting a different student later that same year.

Former Michigan State sexual assault counselor Lauren Allswede told ESPN she left the school in 2015 due to the athletic department’s cover-ups of sexual assault cases.

Allswede also said sexual assault allegations against student-athletes were investigated by the athletics director and the coaches of accused players.

The report also reveals that accusers often had “challenging experiences” with campus police, including an incident in which police told a student not to file a police report so that she wouldn’t “ruin someone’s life.”

AD steps down

Athletic director Mark Hollis had served in his position since Jan. 2008.

His resignation came after the Nassar trial revealed that the former doctor had abused numerous students at his Michigan State practice, and the NCAA opened an investigation into the university’s handling of the abuse allegations over the years.

“This was not an easy decision for me and my family,” Hollis said at a press conference Friday. “And you should not jump to any conclusions based upon our decision.”

One last thing…
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