Nassar Effect - MSU Donations Down 25%

Submitted by Everyone Murders on February 12th, 2018 at 8:52 AM

The Detroit News reports that donations to MSU are down by 25% for the second half of 2017, something that the News is unwilling (understandably as a traditional paper) to fully pin to the Larry Nassar scandal and related investigations, but ... that's what it is.  A tip of the hat to MSU donors and alums who are hitting the administration and board of trustees where it hurts - right in their pocketbooks.  It's also a fitting asterisk to Lou Anna Simon's tenure that a plummet in donations would occur right when she was wrapping up her reign of error.

I hope that this gets the attention of Engler and everyone else charged with righting the MSU ship.  I'm not optimistic this will do more than encourage them to whitewash the situation a la Penn State, but the public face of the victims will help, as will upcoming lawsuits.

25% is a drastic drop in donations, since a lot of donations are scheduled annual or quarterly donations.  (At least that's my understanding.)  I hope each donor redirected a portion of those funds to charities focusing on assisting the victims of child molesters and prevention of child molestation.  And I hope many of those donors notified MSU of why they so redirected their funds.



February 12th, 2018 at 8:56 AM ^

And the story wasn't even that big in the media at that point (second half of 2017).  I wonder what their figures will be for 2018... 

Everyone Murders

February 12th, 2018 at 9:09 AM ^

I agree, but I think jmblue is onto something.  As big a story as this was last fall, it really blew up on a national scale in 2018.  It's possible that the dropoff is just getting started.

I'm married to a (wonderful) MSU alum x2.  She's disgusted by the scandal and the school's reaction, and we sure AF are not doing anything to support MSU until they get their shit together.  Having Engler head up your university, and having other shills heading up the "blue ribbon panel" investigating leaves us ... underwhelmed*.

*If that's a word.  I know it's not, 'cause I looked it up.


February 12th, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

Underwhelmed isn't a real word?...I must be misinterpreting something

I've got a family member who's recently-retired long-time MSU faculty who's married to a long-time MSU staffer. Neither has mentioned a single thing to me about either Nassar or Izzo/Dantonio—whom they believe are high-moral leaders beyond reproach—but you can be sure that if this was happening in A2 they'd have been in my grill about it months ago.

They're both really good people so I think it's a depressing example of tribal fan-based myopia.


February 12th, 2018 at 9:56 AM ^

.... but I think that the MSU fans are very, very good at the tribal based myopia. Their aggressive victim/chip/underdog bullshit has extended so far that they feel picked on/angry because they let the worst pedophile in US history live in their system for two decades, and that briefly this shined a light on their other programs. 

But when Gibbons happened, I had people allllllll over my shit. 

I know lots of good MSU grads. I like them and enjoy their company. But Spartan Nation overall has become a bad caricature of bad fandom. They'd fit right in in the SEC. 


February 12th, 2018 at 12:17 PM ^

before this became a big time news story. He was a huge MSU supporter (former drum major in the 50's) and this would have torn him up. Having grown up in Lansing I am surprised at the unwillingness of many old friends/fans to consider Izzo or Dantonio as [potentially*] having dirt on their hands.  

* reality, not potentially in my mind, but not even potentially for many old friends.



February 12th, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

Remember our debate a week or so ago about the relative effectiveness of a stonewall strategy with Izzo & Dantonio?  And remember I said they were doing it because A: the national 24 hour news cycle means people will get bored with this and move on and B: it works?  And remember where I said the Izzo & Dantonio angle was dead & buried nationally and nobody gave a shit anymore about a nondescript, midwestern aggrecultural college?

Remember that?

Just pointing out there have been 0 national stories on the subject since then.  Zero.

Just saying.......


February 12th, 2018 at 12:25 PM ^

is truly “done” with it yet. They put a ton of effort into finding the mine, and now they’ve proven there is something valuable (more clicks in this case) that they can very easily extract with a follow up story. We still haven’t heard from the other employees who quit because the standard of care wasn’t being followed.
I certainly won’t be surprised if Izzo and Dantonio keep their jobs, but I do think they each have a few more storms to survive if they do.


February 12th, 2018 at 10:05 AM ^

There was a story in the Chicago Tribune a week ago about Izzo not talking about the allegations. And there are still the civil suits, whatever state investigations are ongoing, etc. Not to get too political, but national stories about Mueller and his investigation ebb and flow with relevance, but they are still an issue people know about. Izzo not talking is going to come up again when MSU starts paying out in civil suits.

Everyone Murders

February 12th, 2018 at 10:06 AM ^

Debate might be an overstatement, but yes, I do recall you firmly taking the position that nothing will come of the Izzo and Dantonio missteps.  I also recall noting that we both hope that you're wrong.  And I still think that there is reason to have that hope.

This is going to play out like a slow boil, which may fizzle or may (to use jmblue's imagery) erupt unexpectedly.  I think the 24 hour news cycle and ESPN's thirst for content, plus the NCAA investigation and perhaps the Michigan AG investigation (although the special prosecutor choice looks like a shill) could well add up to some "BREAKING NEWS" in the coming months.  Especially during the collegiate sports slow season that follows the NCAA MBB tournament.


February 12th, 2018 at 10:12 AM ^


Anyways I guess we'll see.  And yes while I very, VERY much hope to be wrong my "bet" is there will be no discussion on either the MSU football or basketball program by a national news media outlet between now and when toe meets leather next September.  There will small stories in the Michigan media (like the one you posted) that will show up and disappear in 24 hours but that's it.


February 12th, 2018 at 11:27 AM ^

with the only caveat that the dynamic would change radically if MSU basketball or football started losing lots of games, especially to Michigan. At that point, either coach would become expendable. 

I don't see this happening in the near term, though.


February 12th, 2018 at 10:52 AM ^

I recall writing much the same. Stonewalling does work. Barring an email from Dantonio/Izzo that tells a rape survivor to "quit drinking and go to bed," my gut tells me that they'll ride this out.


February 12th, 2018 at 3:30 PM ^

You seem to be correct. The local media hasn't asked a single question on ESPN's report to either Izzo or Dantonio.

I don't see the Scheutte investigation as one that will look deep into basketball or football.

The story is largely dead, but heaven forbid if Dantonio stretched an extra 15 minutes to extend practice. The local media would pounce on that story, who cares about rape coverups.


February 12th, 2018 at 9:18 AM ^

I watched part of the MSU-Purdue basketball game and when the TV camera flashed over to the Spartan fans wearing their green colored spartan gear and cheering as if nothing had ever happened, I thought I was going to lose my lunch!  It is going to be a very long time before anyone can ever look at the Spartans logo and not think of sexual assault and cover-ups.  Their officially logo'ed merchandise sales have to be in the toilet as well!

Everyone Murders

February 12th, 2018 at 9:51 AM ^

I'm of two minds on that.  On one hand, the students have tickets to the game, their team is doing very well, and it was a huge game.  They're not going ot hang their heads and mope about at a game when the students are pretty much* innocent of the massive wrongdoings.  It's a lot to ask for them to give up their fandom, when that may have been a major reason for them picking MSU in the first place.

On the other hand, I think a better student body would be drilling into Izzo's and Dantonio's misdeeds.  The State News provides a bully pulpit for expressing disgust not only with LAS, but with Izzo and Dantonio.  Because:

  • Nassar is responsible for giving MSU an enduring "Penn State but bigger" brand.
  • Izzo and Dantonio are responsible for giving MSU a potential Baylor brand (there's a lot of cult of personality to overcome for that brand to stick.

In any event, all of that is bad for MSU in the long run.  I think the Nassar/Klages piece is obvious to most of the MSU alums and fanbase.  The Izzo/Dantonio piece will take longer to get into their collective consciousness - if it does at all.


February 12th, 2018 at 9:32 AM ^

This is John Engler, Dick DeVos, and Peter Secchia courtside at an MSU bball game.  I don't know when, but that doesn't matter.  DeVos's wife runs the Dept of Education ('investigating', and is known to believe Title IX protections go too far).  Secchia paid for Special Investigator Forsyth's retirement party.  Engler is on the Board of Secchia's company.  Engler endorsed Schuette for Governor.  And, just for fun, Dantonia wrote the Forward for Schuette's book.

This is not the hard hitting, organization fixing, clean up the act group that will fix MSU.

carolina blue

February 12th, 2018 at 9:35 AM ^

The new tax law. The fact is that the standard deduction is doubling. As a result, far fewer people will be itemizing, which means charitable donations are going to go down. A lot of people will say to themselves “why do that with post tax dollars?” So the Nassar thing compounded with the new tax law will drive that number way down.


February 12th, 2018 at 11:23 AM ^

Fully expect a substantial number of charitable organizations to raise alarm bells sometime later this year that donations are down X% due to no benefit from itemizing.  

The predictable response from Former Employer of Federal Inmate 21504-040 will be to blame the tax reform bill for the huge drop instead of taking responsibility for their own F ups.

Arb lover

February 12th, 2018 at 11:57 AM ^

I have a friend who works at Michigan with alumni donations, and he assures me donations went up a lot at the end of the year in part due to people knowing they weren't going to get a deduction for next year.

So interesting that there was a 25%drop at state from the year prior, as the real impact was probably larger.


February 12th, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

It seems like this has dropped off the national radar; as well as the issues with Dantonio and Izzo. 

Last week I had MSU people giving me shit about our coaching situation and our recruiting standings. I was gobsmacked. All I could think was 'ARE YOU F*CKING SERIOUS? YOU HAVE THE STONES TO TALK ABOUT COACHING ISSUES?' But yes, apparently they do, and yes, apparently they are over it. 

Unless something happens to slap them in the face hard, I don't see this affecting them much, and that makes me sad. I had two relatives get abused by Nassar. Not close ones, but they were predated on at a very vulnerable time of their life (shortly after the death of their Dad). If MSU people just gloss over this and move on I'll be very disappointed. 

Hopefully UM is trying to make sure that such a travesty could  NEVER happen here. 


February 12th, 2018 at 11:35 AM ^

is a Staee grad and despises UM. We were at his house for our Mom's birthday 2 weeks ago. We rehashed the Nassar deal and I conveniently didn't say anything about Izzo & Dantonnino for these reasons.  

Shortly thereafter he was giving me shit about UM football's lack of offense.  I didn't say anything other than the same stuff talked about here - young WR, inconsistent OL, QB injuries, playcalling.  So yeah some of the fervent fans have completely moved on.

Unfortunately I think this story is done unless the Keystone Kops internally or in the NCAA find something incriminating.  Ain't holding my breath on either count.  

I'll still remember though.



February 12th, 2018 at 12:29 PM ^

if it had happened here, and I listented to those testimonies like I did, I'd be so ashamed. And I hope I'd be raising hell with the University and trying to get every other alum to do it as well. I know next years football season wouldn't really matter much. 

I just don't get the 'Wow, well that was bad. But we're really going to be pumped to kick your guys butt's next year' attitude. I've even gotten the 'Pre season rankings have you ahead of us!' bit. Dear God! Are they deliberatly cherry picking news???


February 12th, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

time significant liabilities (settlements, legal fees, insurance) are climbing? Nice leadership Lou Anna and BoT.

Curious to see if their alumni have enough grassroots leadership to override the EL power structure.


February 12th, 2018 at 9:40 AM ^

of bad news and I may get negged for this unpopular take, but so be it. I don't think donations will drop that much more, I hope they do because I think they should, but I am also a realist. I don't think enough MSU alums that donate A LARGE AMOUNT, care enough about what happened to stop giving money or because their donation isn't to athletics or the physical therapy program Nassar was a part of. Ultimately, these donations could and would affect scholarship programs, research and development programs in other areas that had nothing to do with the scandal. It makes sense to me if donations to the Athletic Department or PT graduate programs would drop as they were the biggest culprit in this whole scandal. I just don't see someone dropping their Vet Program donation because of the sex abuse scandal in a completey different part of the University. Again, I would be all for donations continuing to drop, I just don't see it happening because I think most people who donate think "I'm supporting this department that has nothing to do with Nassar". Sick as this whole thing is, I think alums and fans care more about their football seats and privleges of their donations, than they do victims of sex abuse.