MSU trustee: 'We were tone deaf' in handling of Nassar case

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The Michigan State University Board of Trustees during the entire ordeal surrounding Larry Nassar has been accused of being tone-deaf.

The board had three objectives today - they accepted the resignation of President Lou Anna Simon, appointed a temporary interim president and they moved into damage control.

With fallout mounting after the recent Larry Nassar trial, earlier on Friday Michigan State University Mark Hollis retired. 

"First and foremost, we apologize to the victims of Larry Nassar," said Chairman Brian Breslin.

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"I am truly sorry that this happened to you" said trustee Dianne Byrum. 

"I am sorry," said trustee Mitch Lyons.

"There are no words to express the regret that I feel in my heart for the pain you must feel," said trustee Brian Mosallum.

"I am sorry," said trustee Melanie Foster.

"I am sorry for the trouble we've caused," said trustee George Perles.

"I am truly sorry for our collective inaction," said trustee Joel Ferguson.

"I believe the apologies," said student body President Lorenzo Santavicca. "I believe they are heartfelt."

The trustees had apologies for failures. 

"There have been failures at MSU not only in our process and operations, but in our culture," said Breslin. "MSU has not been focused enough on the victims. 

Trustee Brian Mosallum was upset with the conduct of the board.

"We were tone-deaf," he said. "We came across as our heads were buried in the sand. We were emotionless I felt. I felt we came out and read canned statements. That was something that really bothered me."

The victims were on every trustee's mind.

"Ultimately it is going to change this university and those girls are going to have the credit for that," Breslin said.

 Trustee Joel Ferguson apologized for a media interview he did this week - and some are calling for him to resign. 

In fact, Byrum stopped just short of saying that.

I am still very critical of Mr. Ferguson's comments and I told that to his face today." she said. "I think he needs to step down as vice-chair of the board and I made that crystal clear."

Ferguson disagrees.

"The last thing I am capable of is when the going gets tough means you get going," he said. "It doesn't mean you get going out. It means you buckle down."

As part of the damage control, the board promised the public and the victims "We will do better."

"The folks of this board now and forever more has to understand what we need to correct," said Lyons. "To make sure this never happens again."