MSU Fans, Alums, want Simon and Board Gone

Submitted by StephenRKass on January 23rd, 2018 at 4:45 PM

The Freep has a collection of tweets on the Nassar disaster. They are from current students, fans, and alumni. They unanimously are condemning MSU President Simon for not resigning, and MSU Board of Trustees vice-chairman for his tone deaf and moronic statements.

The silver lining is that there appear to be a majority of fans and alumni who are appalled, and not in the least supportive of the stonewalling by the MSU administration and the board of Trustees.

LINK:  Michigan State fans, alums, express shock over Joel Fergeson's comments

My questions:

  • Do any of you in the state of Michigan know anyone from MSU who wants Simon to stay?
  • Could Dantonio and Izzo theoretically call for Simon to step down, or are they not allowed to because of their position under her authority?



January 23rd, 2018 at 5:03 PM ^

This is what I was referencing in the other threads.  I don't thing MSU fans and alumni are some sort of heros or taking a brave stand by holding this position, but I think we must differentiate the reaction of the PSU Joe-hadists with that of the MSU student body regarding these respective sex crimes cases.

I would like to see more MSU fans and alums condemn Izzo's idiotic comments from the other day as well as have Dantonio acknowledge that their football first culture needs to be cleaned up regarding the treatment of and interaction with women.


January 23rd, 2018 at 5:05 PM ^

I fully agree with you. And silence isn't acceptable. There need to be public statements from major figures condemning not only Nassar but the culture of complicity and the silence of adults.

As in most things, money talks. I'm assuming there are at least some wealthy MSU donors. Eli Broad, who founded KB Home and SunAmerica, has donated more than 100 million to MSU. If he was to pull his support, or if other major donors pulled support, that would get the attention of the Board pretty quickly.


January 23rd, 2018 at 6:16 PM ^

FYI, you may be right, but a newspaper highlighting a non-random assortment of Twitter comments does not a random survey make. In other words, we have no idea how the "average" MSU supporter feels about this, and many, many may still support Lou Anna and the Board. 


January 23rd, 2018 at 6:24 PM ^

You're exactly right. This was no poll, but a collection of tweets supporting the narrative. It would be interesting to see a poll, or to see if the faculty can vote, and have a percentage on "vote of no confidence." And that's why I was curious for those who live in Michigan as to whether they personally know anyone supporting President Simon and the Board of Trustees.


January 24th, 2018 at 10:19 AM ^

And if suddenly the NCAA were to step in and suggest an approrpriate punishment might be some kind of program-wide sanction, that would encompass football and basketball, I have a feeling MSU fans and alums would suddenly be harboring not so much ethical outrage.

Chuck Norris

January 23rd, 2018 at 5:50 PM ^

Good for you. In aggregate, the crazier parts of our fanbase would react just like the crazier parts of PSU's fanbase, although I would like to think that it'd be a lower percentage of our fans, with everyone having seen PSU as a cautionary tale in deification of a coach gone wrong.


January 23rd, 2018 at 9:50 PM ^

Mr Norris I get what you're going for and we would all like to believe UM would never allow something like this to happen and if it did the university/athletic leadership would not act in such a callous and tone deaf way.  I desperately want to believe it actually but one of the main things that needs to be understood from this situation is that this truly could happen at UM or any other university accross this country.  All it takes is for one single person to look the other way and that action can not only irreparably tarnish the reputation of your alma mater but bring potentially hundreds of people's lives down with it.

You're right about the deification of a coach though.  I know it is a completely different situation but I keep hearing Mary Sue's press conference on the Fab Five documentary after everything came out in court:  "This is a dark day for the University of Michigan".  I hope that nothing ever occurs on/around/mildly associated with that school but if something does take anything they ever accomplished here down.  Throw it in a closet with the Fab Five banners.

Now please don't punch me, I hear they're deadly.


January 23rd, 2018 at 5:27 PM ^

but I feel this is correct.  I tend to think people act more alike then different when history repeats.

There wasn't much uproar among PSU folk when Spanier was fired.  His scalp - like Simon's scalp - was a relatively faceless, "low cost" scalp.  But JoePa's scalp was a whole lot harder for many PSU folk to sacrifice.


January 23rd, 2018 at 9:46 PM ^

Twitter showed me people putting up signs on campus for... Well I'm in no condition tho Google this for you. '12 barbera d'alba. It's supposedly happening, soon, so they say. So there's that.


January 23rd, 2018 at 5:57 PM ^

I mean a friend who went to MSU protested have Simon fired in like 2010 for shit handling of assaults by football and basketball players. Izzo and dantanio are complicit in the sports first and scandal avoidance culture that led to this.

As are most institutions. The psu thing is shitty partly because their fans were fuckheads. The overall culture that allowed it is something that can be found in many places. Do anything to protect the image and moneymakers.

The Fugitive

January 23rd, 2018 at 4:56 PM ^

1. No.

2.  Izzo is THE FACE of the university, not LAS.  Kids don't go to MSU because of the president, they go because of athletics first, couch burning second, and Box Folding 101 third.  He should be bold enough to speak out, but he showed his true colors (twice; with his original quote and follow up) no matter what he says going forward.  If he was smart, he would have seen the writing on the wall for her and started to distance himself by speaking out on behalf of the victims.  


January 23rd, 2018 at 10:19 PM ^

Their packaging school is highly rated, as is their turf and soil management and hotel and restaurant management programs. Let's not forget their school of animal husbandry. They are still showing that commercial about the guy who recycles manure into drinkable water. There's nothing wrong with any of that, but I think that helps explain their inferiority complex and why they get so defensive.
Meanwhile, Michigan has top rated business, law, medical and engineering schools (and the #1 rated School of Social Work.)
My mom worked at State many years and was a defender of Simon up until recently. When mom changed her mind about Simon I knew she was in trouble.
A grade school and high school friend changed her profile picture this weekend to one of her whole family in Spartan gear. How tone deaf. I would keep my Michigan gear in the closet if something like this was happening to my alma mater.


January 23rd, 2018 at 5:10 PM ^

I'm sure you're right. There have to be at least some MSU knuckleheads out there who support Simon. Joel Fergeson is one. What an embarassment. But yeah, I meant that the tweets referenced in the article were all unanimously in favor of Simon stepping down. I'm sure they would cherry pick tweets supporting the article, but I can't imagine there are too many out there wanting to see Simon stay.


January 23rd, 2018 at 6:04 PM ^

that is an absurd statement by the OP.  As someone who's done market research, it pains me to no end when people see a few tweets and make blanket statements about the sentiment being expressed (and this happens all the time now because journalists are lazy and cherry pick a few tweets that deomonstrate the points of their clickbait stories).

Twitter is a platform that gives voice to the loudest, not at all necessarily the concensus.  So few people actively tweet (less than a quarter of active users), and the ones that do are predominantly trolls, journalists or exhibitionists such that it is a really terrible platform from which to assume accurate representation of a population.


January 23rd, 2018 at 6:28 PM ^

I completely agree with you. As said elsewhere, these tweets just support the narrative of the journalist and don't prove a thing.

That's why I ask for admittedly anecdotal evidence of MSU fans or students or alumni who are standing with and behind Simon. Being out of the area, I don't run into many MSU fans or alumni. For those in Michigan, it would be interesting to hear of MSU partisans actually supporting Simon and the administration. I'm sure they're out there.


January 23rd, 2018 at 7:13 PM ^

as you commented so I don't mean to keep piling on, but you also somehow conclude in your OP that it "appears a majority" feel this way?  Based on 15 tweets? That's not a lack of clarity, that's drawing false conclusions on the level of fake news.

C'mon man.  You're better than that.  I'm mostly just sad that that's how you interpreted that article because it's another example of things I wish weren't true.


January 23rd, 2018 at 10:31 PM ^

You're right . . . I would like to believe that MSU fans and alums and students are outraged and embarassed and upset. What was written isn't solid support for that position. The article just chooses tweets that reinforce the narrative. 

I'd love to find out that it is in fact the case MSU partisans are demanding the removal of President Simon. We'll see what the reality actually is.

BOX House

January 23rd, 2018 at 5:14 PM ^

well, i know one of the board members... i disliked him while i was dating his daughter and my opinion of him as plummeted. thanks for that cuba trip, though.

BTB grad

January 23rd, 2018 at 5:22 PM ^

1.) Nope, and most of my high school friends go to/went to MSU


2.) Does it matter? There's no way Simon would fire or punish Izzo or Dantonio for their comments.If they spoke out against her, MSU students and alumni would be fully behind them. They'd riot if she tried to make a move on either coach. Plus Hollis is who Izzo and Dantonio report to. She'd have to force Hollis to act for her. Hollis has gotten by unscathed in all this. He wouldn't dare do that or say a word. Izzo and Dantonio know all this and it's what makes them even bigger cowards for not calling her out.

Chuck Norris

January 23rd, 2018 at 5:20 PM ^

The consensus seems to be that those connected to MSU writ large want her gone, but unfortunately money is the only thing that talks. Unless donations and such plummet, the board won't care.

Arb lover

January 23rd, 2018 at 5:23 PM ^

You probably won't have anyone not a political figure call for resignations, because regular faculty/coaches likely have a non-disparagement clause in their contract preventing them from publicly voicing negativity or whatnot. 

The Governor (state) or potentially the board of trustees could start the process to remove the president but I don't know that it's going to happen.


January 23rd, 2018 at 5:42 PM ^

Good luck enforcing that. Sure, MSU could sue a faculty/staff member, and perhaps they would. However, that would be an epic doubling-down on already incomprehensibly bad behavior by the university. I can't see a jury finding for MSU.


January 23rd, 2018 at 5:57 PM ^

There needs to be some kind of exception for a non-disparagement clause. I think that non-disclosure agreements, like the one McKayla Maroney signed, are very problematic. You have to have a way to speak out when you think something is wrong.

And I agree with the other response:  for MSU to discipline Dantonio or Izzo for speaking out would be an incredible doubling down, which I don't think would happen.


January 23rd, 2018 at 7:20 PM ^

How would the governor remove the president?

The board is the university, legally. The board decides who’s president, and the voters choose the board.

The governor is empowered to fill board vacancies, and of course he can influence whom his party nominates for the seats down the road. But he can’t compel them to do anything, nor overrule them.


January 24th, 2018 at 9:19 AM ^

According to the state constitution, the Governor has the authority to empanel a board to review the conduct of any elected official in the state, and may remove the official if needed. However, there is some disagreement as to whether this power extends to university boards and presidents. Technically, LAS is an employee.


January 23rd, 2018 at 5:34 PM ^

There's a protest scheduled on campus for Friday at 6 PM now.  Faculty is trying to organize a "vote of no confidence" which I don't think has any force beyond moral force.

But she can't survive this, I don't think.  If she does, money really is the absolutely only thing that matters.


January 23rd, 2018 at 6:02 PM ^

That's great on the faculty. I don't know that it has no power. The faculty, and beyond them, the student body, are the university. If they very strongly give a vote of "no confidence," along with what we're hearing from alumni, that will have a huge affect. The last piece would be for major donors to exert pressure on the administration.