It’s unclear what long-term damage may be done to Michigan State University athletic programs from ongoing investigations into how the university handled sexual assault allegations.
The university has faced national scrutiny over its handling the Larry Nassar case as well as several other sexual assault investigations. Nassar, the former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor, who is serving 175 years in prison for possessing child pornography charges and molesting young women and girls.
More than 250 women and girls have accused Nassar of sexual assault.
Other accusations have surfaced about the university’s handling of sexual assault accusations against student-athletes.
Darren Leon, a current sophomore at Michigan State, thinks a lot of fans are disgusted by how the athletic department appear to help Nassar’s victims. But he said he still supports coaches such as Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo. He also believes the MSU community to stick together.
“I think MSU as a whole still strongly supports all their sports teams,” Leon said. “I think that support will not waver anytime soon.”
Blake Dunning said news reports he’s seen made his question the university’s athletic programs, but he questions the accuracy of all of the reporting.
“Even though not all the reports have been 100 percent accurate, when I was first reading headlines it made me think negative at first,” Dunning said. “Our school is no doubt in a negative light.”
Dunning said the controversy won’t stop him from going to games. He believes if the fans, along with coaches and players, work together, they can rebuild the reputation of not only the athletic program but the school as a whole.
“It will probably take a while to move away from the negativity we’ve had,” Dunning said. “However, it is possible when putting forth the effort in the right direction.”