Friday, December 7

Lou Anna Simon: Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right

Some may say that former MSU President Lou Ann Simon is getting what she deserves for her strident position she took against Penn State officials over the Sandusky scandal, but two wrongs don't make a right.

Ray Blehar
December 7, 2018, 9:06 AM EST, Updated 8:03 PM EST

The lessons of the Jerry Sandusky scandal remain lost and the fallacies of the Freeh Report have come back to haunt former Michigan State University (MSU) President Lou Anna Simon.

Simon, who jumped on the Freeh Report bandwagon in 2012, gave no quarter to Penn State University (PSU) officials who were fooled by a Pillar of the Community serial sex offender.   Six years ago, the former MSU President accused PSU  of "purposeful and premeditated" acts that were "pervasive." 

"People make mistakes, and some of those are purposeful and premeditated, and if you just take the Penn State experience, pretty pervasive. Other times, people just make mistakes, and we have to have a violations structure and framework that tries to sort through that in the labels of what the NCAA does. Right now, it doesn't because 'major' and 'minor' don't make a lot of sense. 

"The purpose is to try to incentivize people doing the right thing, and the right thing is saying something when you see something and doing something after you said something. It's really that simple."

The evidence shows in the Larry Nassar case that it wasn't that simple at MSU either.

Nassar was reported to MSU officials on numerous occasions.  Few said anything or even made a report to their bosses.  Only one complaint by an athlete was investigated and that resulted in no charges or punitive actions against Nassar.   He continued to molest young women on the campus for two more years.

Simon's own stern words about PSU have come back to haunt her as she faces charges for lying to police when she allegedly learned about Nassar's misconduct in 2014.    While there is no legal or factual basis that she could have done anything more to help investigators, she is guilty in the eyes of the public.  Nassar happened on her watch.

But it should never have come to this for Simon.