Michigan State president apologizes for ‘kickback’ comments

John Engler
The Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State University’s interim president is apologizing for emails in which he said a victim of former campus sports doctor Larry Nassar probably received a “kickback” from her plaintiff’s lawyer.

John Engler issued a written statement Thursday, more than a week after media outlets reported on his email exchange with another university official. He says: “That was a big mistake. I was wrong. I apologize.”

Engler says when he started as president in February, he never meant to have an adversarial relationship with some of Nassar’s victims. He says his speculation about Rachael Denhollander receiving kickbacks or referral fees “hurt her deeply,” and other survivors “suffered greatly.”

Two university trustees have called on Engler to resign, but he says he’ll use his remaining time as interim president to implement reforms.

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