The $500 million agreement is believed to be the largest settlement ever in a sexual misconduct case involving a university, according to ESPN. We appreciate the diligent efforts of Mick Grewal and the survivors' attorneys throughout the nation who worked to obtain this measure of justice and healing.
But it did not address claims against USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee, star gymnastics coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi, and others, nor did it end a criminal probe of the university's actions with regard to Nassar's behavior. He has been sentenced to 40 to 175 years in one MI county and 40 to 125 years in another on sexual assault charges. "So Michigan State knowing that these problems existed with Dr. Nassar allowed him and paid him to actually go into the community and wear their colors and wear their badge of honor where he ultimately committed these atrocities". "We know that there's a problem in our state with childhood sexual abuse, and so to see this recognition hopefully it's going to clear up any lingering questions that some of our colleagues have about do we need some of this legislation to protect our children?" Under the agreement, US$425 million (NZ$616 million) would be paid to current claimants and US$75 million (NZ$109 million) would be set aside for any future claims. The amount is almost five times the amount of the sum paid out by Penn State University in the case of former basketball coach Jerry Sandusky. Nassar is already serving a sentence for his crimes, which also include the possession of child pornography. Michigan State interim president John Engler said the costs will be covered by tuittion and state aid, which lawmakers have opposed.
At Nassar's sentencing hearing in January, Lemke had harshly criticized MSU, saying: "Michigan State University, shame on you...."
During its 2016-2017 school year, MSU raked in $859 million in tuition, comprising 29% share of its total revenue, according to its annual financial statement. Its general fund budget is $1.36 billion. Ashley Ramchandani, a credit analyst with S&P Global Ratings, said it considers MSU to be in good shape financially with debt and could likely add some if needed. The rating drops MSU to Aa2 from Aa1, affecting approximately $975 million of rated debt.
The criminal probe into the university's role in the scandal is being conducted by special counsel Bill Forsyth on behalf of Michigan's top law enforcement office.
The lowering also reflects a belief that MSU's enrollment could drop, which means less money coming into the university.