MSU Interim President John Engler apologizes to Nassar survivors


EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) M.S.U. Interim President John Engler grabs headlines again, this time with an apology.

Engler released a statement today apologizing for offending survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse. It comes after e-mails were released showing Engler criticizing some survivors, even saying the first woman to come forward probably got a “kick back” from her attorney.

Engler said he never meant to hurt the relationship between himself and the Nassar survivors. But student leaders on campus are saying this apology is a day late and a dollar short.

“I think it’s late,” said Katie Paulot, the secretary of Reclaim MSU. “I think it’s fruitless. He doesn’t call for any action to be taken. He’s not saying that anything is really going to change here.”

Paulot is a member of Reclaim M.S.U., a group working to change the culture on campus. She says Engler’s apology doesn’t take responsibility for what he’s done and she still wants him to resign.

“Just because he apologized for one of the horrendous things that he said doesn’t cover for that,” said Paulot.

In Engler’s statement, he addresses his emails against Nassar survivor Rachael Denhollander and says, “That was a big mistake. I was wrong. I apologize. My speculation about the lead plaintiff receiving kickbacks or referral fees hurt her deeply and for that I am truly sorry.”

Brian Breslin, the Chair of the M.S.U. Board of Trustees also released a statement about Engler’s apology, saying it’s appropriate and appreciated by most of the board.

Paulot says the trustees shouldn’t let this apologize dismiss the damage that has already been done.

“The idea that the Board of Trustees is fine with how he is acting just because of one apology, I definitely don’t agree with that and I think it goes against the community,” said Paulot.

The M.S.U. Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet tomorrow. The meeting starts at 8 a.m. at the Hannah Administration Building. That is an hour earlier than usual.

The doors open to the public at 7:30 a.m. and it’s encouraged that if you plan to go to get there early.

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