OT: MSU digs hole deeper, Engler adviser: Nassar survivor's claims of payout 'fake news'

Submitted by TraumaRN on April 18th, 2018 at 1:15 PM

MSU continues to shoot itself in the foot and dig the hole deeper as now this comes out today: 


"The e-mails, which the Free Press obtained from a source in the administration building, started with one sent a day after Kaylee Lorincz, a Nassar survivor, claimed Engler offered her $250,000 to settle her lawsuit against the university in a meeting where Lorincz' attorney was not present.

"Kaylee's statements to the Board contained many false and inaccurate statements, which we did not publicly contradict out of an abundance of concern for the survivors who are quick to claim 'revictimization' or 'shaming' of survivors whenever they are falsely accusing members of the MSU community," the e-mail from Carol Viventi, vice president and special counsel to Engler, said." 


"Understand that Bob Young advises that the plaintiff attorneys are willing to make bold and false assertions to advance their goal of increasing the cost of settlement," Viventi's e-mail said. "What members of the board say in public can, however unwittingly, advance the plaintiffs' goals and injure the university.  When, as here, it is possible to verify whether public assertions made by plaintiffs are true, there should never be a statement in the press by board members that gives credibility to sensational headlines or what can best be described as "false news."


I swear to you, if their goal is to ensure the bankruptcy of a public university, they are doing a damn fine job. In the meantime, FIRE EVERYONE who was involved, fire everyone obstructing and victim blaming the victims. 


Big Boutros

April 18th, 2018 at 1:19 PM ^

Besides the accusation of lying, it is wildly inappropriate to refer to Kaylee Lorincz by her first name in official correspondence. She is an adult litigant.


April 18th, 2018 at 2:36 PM ^

Is there any precedent for a death penalty for an entire athletic department that anyone is aware of? The single sport penalty that most of us are aware of is SMU football. 

However, this is considerably bigger than any one sport. It certainly appears that as an institution, MSU either entirely lacks institutional control, or worse, they have it, and are choosing to wield their power in the worst possible manner.

Anyhow, before I ramble longer, does anyone have any precedents that apply to a whole athletic department that is rotten?

Pepto Bismol

April 18th, 2018 at 3:25 PM ^

Why would any MSU team receive the death penalty? Please respond by listing each MSU mens and womens sport individually and detail how nuking that specific program off the face of the earth would help John Engler stop being a complete knob.


This has nothing to do with MSU sports. MSU athletes were assaulted by a doctor. Eliminating gymnastics isn't a solution and it serves no purpose. The same tribal mentality that has them running a three-ring circus to protect that little green hat logo is the same misguided mentality that has you thinking about death penalties. This is not an NCAA issue. Focus.


April 18th, 2018 at 3:48 PM ^

includes the MULTIPLE sexual assaults by football and basketball players throughout the years of which there have been MANY and the coverup by IZZO, Dantonio, the AD, AD dept, MSU Admin and boosters in the local police agencies. Its not just about gymnastics


April 18th, 2018 at 3:54 PM ^

When a member institution fails to reasonably protect its athletes (some victims were MSU athletes), fosters a culture of Title IX noncompliance (the most narrow and generous to MSU reading of how the school handles sexual assault reporting involving athletics), and harms the reputation of the NCAA and its membership (the least important piece), the NCAA can absolutely get involved. It’s also a B1G issue for the same reasons.

Agree that death penalties for sports only harm the athletes, but if the NCAA or B1G want to impose financial penalties or scholarship penalties to sports shown to be a part of the problem, they’re entirely justified in doing so. Would think any such action will be considered and taken following the conclusion of the various investigations.


April 18th, 2018 at 4:30 PM ^

I would prevent MSU from bidding on any federally funded R&D program for a minimum of 3 years and require them to prove that they have instituted policies (and follow them) to prevent this situation from ever happening again before allowing them to be eligible again. I would also require they use their BTN revenues to pay the victims for as long as it takes. If they disagree, I would vote them out of the conference. I want WW I sanctions against Germany leveled against them. This is so much larger than sports. The penalties must strike at the very heart of the university so that the administration can no longer deny the reality of the toxic culture that has festered in East Lansing for decades.


April 18th, 2018 at 4:53 PM ^

is that the BOT and President seem to be most concerned with MSU athletics and not with the institution itself, which is the much more important part of MSU.  Michigan sports is a monster, however, when it comes to the rest of the University, the University is in charge.  I cannot imagine Michigan athletics lasting for a long time if they were to negatively affect the rest of the University.  MSU should be focused on protecting the University. 

Mr Miggle

April 18th, 2018 at 4:15 PM ^

The issues around MSU have a lot to do with sports and go well beyond Nassar.

MSU is facing potential NCAA action in two related areas I can see. One is mishandling their Title IX department. The other related issue is handling reports of assaults by and of athletes.

It's a longshot that the NCAA gets involved. Depending on what is found, I wouldn't rule it out completely. If it's a compliance issue that encompasses multiple sports, they could hit them with a lack of institutional control charge. Could that lead to probation for every sport? I don't know.


April 18th, 2018 at 9:03 PM ^

You genuinely are asking the resut of us for detailed analysis of which teams at MSU should get the death penalty? Ok, any team, such as MSU football, basketball, or gymnastics, that have players or staff that rape women, and then use the university athletic department to cover their rapes up, should get the death penalty. How is that unclear?

Their sports department, taken as teams or as a whole department, has fostered a toxic environment whereby women and girls have been raped en masse for years. Do you think these women have all made up the rapes, or do you just want to continue to allow them to do so?

I guess my response is, are you kidding or are you slow? Or do you just approve of rape? You're baffling me here . . . Focus.



April 18th, 2018 at 1:21 PM ^

I can't believe how badly they've handled this. The board is absolutely out to lunch.

Usually, people know a lot more than their critics give them credit for. Warde Manuel, etc. This is not one of those cases. The MSU trustees have done one of the worst jobs I have ever seen, from the way they handled the Simon situation, to their choice and mandate for Engler (I'm not the hater many are, but he has clearly been brought on to protect the university from liability at all costs and those costs are mounting fast) to their public statements to the other people they have hired.

This is all rugged give-no-inch defense, Hitler ordering no retreat to his generals on the Eastern Front in the face of the massive Soviet offensives. It is completely unsuited for the situation or for the times, and is a growing, permanent stain on the reputation and history of an important institution.

Winchester Wolverine

April 18th, 2018 at 1:29 PM ^

Just when you think the swirling bowl of shit is about to drain, it just keeps circling. I'm absolutely amazed that, despite the mounting pressure, they keep trying to hold the very little ground they have left.

They're on an island of their own making, complete with a disgusting culture of historical proportions, yet, they keep defending themselves. Spartans will, I guess.

Mr Miggle

April 18th, 2018 at 1:53 PM ^

blame here.

Ths is an attack from Engler's administration. We'll see how much the board pushes back. I'm not expecting much, but Brian mossallam wrote a strong rebuttal. One them also probably leaked the email.

On it's face, this attack on Lorincz isn't credible. First of all, Engler was quick to interrupt her when she said Viventi was his lawyer. She's his special counsel, a fine distinction to make, but he would sit silently in the face of direct lies about what he said? Also, the third MSU official in the meeting confirmed Lorincz' account of Engler initiating a discussion about money. 

Further she accuses Lorincz and her mother of demanding the meeting and refusing to leave unless they got one. A few paragraphs later she says Engler took the meeting because he was following the suggestions of those who said he should meet with survivors, something he had taken a lot of criticism for not doing.

I'd love to see them deposed about what was said. I'd bet against repeating the claims made in the email.



April 18th, 2018 at 4:36 PM ^

Engler is there because the board wanted exactly what they're getting. He was hired with a mandate to act pretty much exactly as he as acted. 

It's not hard to tell, given that they were talking about how great Lou Anna Simon was because she was a great fundraiser at the same time victims were begging for her presence as they testified in court. The board has a very narrow view of what the problem is for MSU: Liability. They hired Engler because they knew he would do a good job at the narrow scope of issue that they had in mind. 

There was no consideration of healing, of public image, of taking care of the victims, of learning what went wrong to fix it and prevent it from happening again. Engler isn't the guy for those things and they knew it when they brought him in.

This is the equivalent to bringing in Sonny Corleone to fight your mob war or Bob Probert to anchor your fourth line. You know what they are and you know what they will do. The board called this play and they hired the man to do it. 


Section 1.8

April 18th, 2018 at 5:07 PM ^

Michigan allows for "exemplary damages" in some limited cases.  There's actually a considerable body of appellate case law in Michigan (making Bob Young an ideal counselor for MSU) that limits the award of exemplary damages.

I should confess; I have not read any of the civil complaints in any of these cases.  Have you?  Does anybody have a link to a .pdf?  What causes of action are alleged?

Because many times, since plaintiffs are concerned first and foremost with insurance coverage, they don't even allege intentional torts (which could support a claim for exemplary damages) for fear that insurance won't cover intentional torts but instead only negligence.





April 18th, 2018 at 10:15 PM ^

Even differing districts in the same state can be quirky. And basically all insurance has limits. But in this case, who knows? Plenty of policies would pay out absolutely nothing on behalf of MSU, given that the rape of young girls and women is not what the policy is there to cover. I think we just are going to have to accept that we won't know until we know.

Fun filled thought for the day - MSU is far from done, not only with plaintiffs, but criminal charges. To me, this is an ideal situation to try some RICO with. 


April 18th, 2018 at 4:36 PM ^

I agree with Miggle, this is an attack from Engler and his team vs. the Lorinczes and survivors, meant to defend Engler by attacking his opponents. 

Miggle, I can't tell which you're suggesting - Mosallam leaked the email or Engler's team leaked the email. I actually wouldn't be surprised in either case. I could see Engler's team wanting it out there to defend him. But I could also see Mosallam wanting it out there to keep it in the news cycle and build momentum to get Engler out.

Man, the PR textbooks writers are going to be devoting multiple chapters to this crisis in the future.


April 18th, 2018 at 1:26 PM ^

I can’t fathom how much MSU has totally shit the bed in responding to this tragedy. They’ve been completely inept.

And then I remind myself of the Shane Morris issue. Very different in terms of magnitude and how systemic of a problem MSU seems to have, but the Michigan PR folks totally botched that one too.

I guess in conclusion I’m shocked at how easy it is for people in the profession to do the wrong thing when the right things seem so damn obvious.

Coach Carr Camp

April 18th, 2018 at 2:05 PM ^

Dave Brandon was responsible for the terrible communication mishandling of that, and there were calls for his firing long before losing to Rutgers. Our president however did come out and admit wrongdoing 

Despite having one of the finest levels of team medical expertise in the country, our system failed on Saturday. We did not get this right, and for this I apologize to Shane, his family, his teammates, and the entire Michigan family.

Then, he laid out plan to fix situation going forward

I have instructed the athletic department to provide me, the Board of Regents, and other campus leaders with a thorough review of our in-game player safety procedures, particularly those involving head injuries, and will involve experts from the University of Michigan Health System in assessing its medical aspects

Apologize, admit failures, develop action plan going forward. Its not a complicated strategy when you screw up. MSU on the other hand has chosen to focus on deferring blame and protecting University image 




April 18th, 2018 at 1:50 PM ^

Close the University

Demolish the campus

Summarily execute the administration leaders

Sell the trademarks and the mascots into slavery

Plough salt into the playing fields