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Michigan State University fans wear teal in support of sexual abuse victims

Teal Out at MSU

Michigan State University fans wore teal at Friday night's basketball game to support sexual abuse victims as the university grapples with ongoing questions into its handling of allegations of sexual abuse against school sports doctor Larry Nassar. On Friday, MSU athletic director Mark Hollis announced his retirement, the second university official to step down this week.

MSU's basketball section, known as the IZZONE, also set up a GoFundMe with a goal of raising $6,000 to donate to the Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention Team of MSU and the Firecracker Foundation. As of 10 p.m. ET, they had exceeded the goal.

"We just wanted to show that there are still people here that do support them and we just wanted to be a light, some type of positive news for the university, something fairly simple that we could do what we could to show our support," IZZONE leader Nick Ignatoski told State News, the college newspaper.  

Wisconsin v Michigan State
General view of the Breslin Center during the Michigan State Spartans and Wisconsin Badgers basketball game on January 26, 2018 in East Lansing, Michigan. Getty

Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon submitted her resignation late Wednesday. 

Nassar was sentenced this week to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing seven people in the Lansing area, but his sentencing hearing was open to anyone who said they were a victim. More than 150 women and girls spoke at the hearing. 

His accusers said he would use his ungloved hands to penetrate them, often without explanation, while they were on a table seeking help for various injuries. The accusers, many of whom were children, said they trusted Nassar to care for them properly, were in denial about what was happening or were afraid to speak up. He sometimes used a sheet or his body to block the view of any parent in the room.

The last witness to speak at Nassar's sentencing hearing was Rachael Denhollander, a Kentucky lawyer and one of the first women to publicly identify herself as one of Nassar's young victims. Denhollander contacted MSU police in 2016 after reading reports about how USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians, mishandled complaints of sexual misconduct. Nassar worked at Michigan State and also was the national gymnastics squad's doctor. 

MSU hid full conclusion of 2014 abuse investigation

Nassar treated athletes at MSU for nearly two decades, and there are serious questions about how the university responded to complaints about Nassar, CBS News' chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook reports. In 2014, Amanda Thomashow, who is one of the women who confronted Nassar last week, complained to Michigan State University that she had been sexually abused by Nassar.  

"I didn't know who to tell and I was scared no one would believe me. Sometimes I even had a hard time believing myself. But in the end, I knew I had to report it," she said.

The university conducted a sexual harassment investigation and cleared him. The report given to Thomashow concluded: "We cannot find that the conduct was of a sexual nature." But it said her claim was "helpful in that it allows us to examine certain practices" at Michigan State University.  

A 2017 Michigan State University police investigation stated at least 12 assaults were reported after Nassar was cleared in 2014. Many of them were at MSU and involved "the lack of a chaperone during sensitive procedures and un-gloved skin-to-skin contact."