EAST LANSING, Mich. — Survivors are reacting after Michigan State University Head Football Coach Mel Tucker was suspended after news broke of sexual harassment allegations against him.
Doctor Danielle Moore, co-founder of the advocacy group The Army of Survivors, says she is disappointed.
"It's very disappointing in terms of how the university has handled yet another incident," Moore said.
The allegations and the timeline of university actions have sparked questions from the community, as the university has already operated under the shadow of criticism for its handling of the case of former gymnastics physician Larry Nasser who was convicted of sexually assaulting patients.
"I see friends and family wearing Michigan State sweatshirts or t shirts, and I just can't help but feel pain because Michigan State has never done the right thing," Nassar survivor Elizabeth Maurer said in July.
Maurer was speaking at a press conference with other survivors and their attorney, announcing a lawsuit against MSU to gain access to Nassar-related documents not released by the university.
"These documents have been sitting there waiting to be read by the public and by survivors, and they keep deceiving us and not allowing us to see them after promising we could."
In the Tucker case, university officials have asserted that action have been taken with respect to investigative efforts.
"For me, Graham, it was, you know, working and waiting on the university as it relates to their investigative process and making sure that they were allowed to complete their investigation," MSU Vice President and Athletic Director Alan Haller said Sunday. "And so, although the investigation was complete on [July 25], there's still ongoing processes that still need to be played out."
Given actions taken and playing out in the Nassar case, Moore drew concern from comments she saw as contradictory.
"During the press conference [Sunday], the interim president actually stated, you know, the MSU of today is creating a culture that is welcoming, supporting and caring," Moore said. "However, almost exactly 48 hours earlier, the Board of Trustees decided not to do an open vote to release the 6000 [Nassar] documents. So those two things are the complete opposite."
As a survivor herself, Moore said the suspension should have come sooner following the conclusion of the outside investigator's report in July. She said things must change for the sake of current and future survivors.
"If the board, and the President changes... in terms of acting on behalf of survivors, versus, you know, trying to save face, then that will hopefully trickle down into, you know, other departments and show, you know, the students especially that, you know, they will be supported if they come forward."
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