Huskies speak out on Michigan State scandal


Lawrence Nassar (center) was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison after being found guilty of sexual assault.

By Khobi Price

DeKALB — Collegiate athletics are in a muddled state because of a Michigan State University ongoing investigation.

The NCAA opened an investigation Jan. 23 regarding how the university handled the sex crimes case of Lawrence Nassar, former USA Gymnastics team doctor and current physician at Michigan State.

Nassar admitted to sexually abusing girls under the guise of medical treatment during his time at Michigan State, according to a Feb. 1 CNN article.

Multiple victims said they reported Nassar’s actions to Michigan State, but officials either dismissed their comments or failed to do anything about their complaints, according to a Jan. 24 CNN article.

At least eight women reported abuse, and at least 14 university representatives, including athletic trainers, coaches and campus personnel, were notified, according to a Jan. 18 CBS News article.

The investigation opened one day before Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison, according to a Jan. 24 ESPN article.

The NCAA sent a letter of inquiry to Michigan State University regarding potential NCAA rule violations related to Nassar’s assaults, according to a Jan. 23 Washington Post article.

“Since my first day on the job as athletic director, my focus has always been on the student-athlete,” said Mark Hollis, Michigan State athletic director, according to a Jan. 24 ESPN article. “In regards to the letter we received from the NCAA, the athletic compliance and university general counsel offices are preparing a comprehensive response.”

Representatives of NIU Athletics gave their opinions on the investigation and what they’re hoping comes out of it.

Sam Morreale, gymnastics head coach

“Obviously, first and foremost, it is horrible,” Morreale said. “It is horrendous. It is unthinkable that something like that could happen. It reaches, in my sport, farther than that Michigan State family. It has definitely shaken the USA Gymnastics group kind of to that core to figure out what, how and why and definitely make sure this never happens again.”

Morreale said he believes it’s clear Michigan State could have handled the situation better.

“Obviously they did not handle it well. Something like this, if it happens to one person then that’s too many,” Morreale said. “But, when that person goes in and reports it to somebody, the whole visit ends there. I don’t have any firsthand knowledge there or how they did what they did. But, as an outsider looking in, that’s not how you want it handled.”

Lisa Carlsen, women’s basketball head coach

“Obviously none of it looks good,” Carlsen said. “As things continue to get investigated, we’ll find out what’s really going on. Hopefully they’ll be able to rectify the situation and right the ship as far as big picture college athletics is concerned.”

Carlsen said while we don’t know enough information yet, there needs to be justice to whatever comes out of the investigation.

“If there are things going on, the integrity of the game, things completely departmentally, there needs to be a shift. Obviously it’s an ongoing investigation. Hopefully the right people are asking the right questions to find out what’s really going on.”

Mikayla Voigt, women’s basketball junior guard

“I think that Michigan State is taking the proper actions to deal with the situation the best way they know how,” Voigt said. “Obviously sexual assault is something that, unfortunately, has been around for a while, but I think more awareness is being spread.”

Voigt said she thinks it’s time to speak out against sexual assault.

“There’s no reason for it. The whole thing with the USA Gymnastics and Michigan State, I think it’s something that needs to be dealt with in a proper manner, and I think Michigan State is doing all they can right now.”

Mark Montgomery, men’s basketball head coach

Montgomery played basketball at Michigan State from 1988 to 1992 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in food industry management. He served as an assistant coach for six years and as the associate head coach for four years for the university’s men’s basketball team from 2001 to 2011.

“I feel bad for the victims,” Montgomery said. “So much happened in the gymnastic case and some other things that came out. I don’t wish that on any university or anybody in society. Hopefully this case will bring awareness to all universities and all communities.”