MSU head will quit over Nassar abuse row

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John Engler is the former governor of Michigan and was appointed interim president last year

The interim president of Michigan State University has resigned after he said victims of a major sex abuse scandal were “enjoying” the attention.

John Engler, who was appointed a year ago, said gymnasts who were abused by ex-team doctor Larry Nassar were “hanging on” to the scandal.

He made the remarks in an interview with the Detroit News last week and was roundly criticised.

Nassar has been sentenced to more than 300 years for molesting young gymnasts.

The former Olympic doctor was convicted last year on hundreds of counts of abuse at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University.

The head of USA Gymnastics and the president of Michigan State University both resigned in the wake of the scandal.

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Hundreds of women testified against Nassar

“There are a lot of people who are touched by this, survivors who haven’t been in the spotlight,” Mr Engler said in the interview with the Detroit News.

“In some ways they have been able to deal with this better than the ones who’ve been in the spotlight who are still enjoying that moment at times, you know, the awards and recognition,” he added.

The former state governor delivered his resignation letter to the university’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday night.

He said that several members of the board had asked him to resign.

“When I arrived I found a university in crisis,” he wrote. “Disclosures of sexual abuse by… Larry Nassar had made MSU a troubled institution.”

“The bottom line is that MSU is a dramatically better, stronger institution than a year ago,” he added.

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Media captionWhat it was like to testify against Larry Nassar

Last year, the university agreed to pay $500m (£371m) in compensation to the athletes who were abused by Nassar.

According to the lawyers, $425m will be paid to the claimants, and another $75m would be set aside for any future allegations against Nassar, 54, and the university

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