Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Report: Larry Nassar's Longtime Boss Said In 2016 He Didn't Believe Victims

Illustration for article titled Report: Larry Nassar's Longtime Boss Said In 2016 He Didn't Believe Victims
Photo: Scott Olson (Getty)

William Strampel is the former dean of the osteopathic medical school at Michigan State University, a position he held from 2002 until last year. In that position he supervised Larry Nassar, a doctor who sexually abused hundreds of girls while working for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics. The Wall Street Journal has obtained meeting notes that indicate Strampel did not believe Nassar’s accusers in October 2016, after the university had fired Nassar in response to abuse allegations reported by the Indianapolis Star.


The Journal reports that the comments were made during a meeting Strampel had with four students and three administrators at Michigan State. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss allegations of abuse made by a female student against a male student. Strampel eventually began talking about Nassar, according to a written account of the meeting attained by the Journal:

“This just goes to show that none of you learned the most basic lesson in medicine, medicine 101, that you should have learned in your first week: don’t trust your patients,” Dr. Strampel is quoted saying. “Patients lie to get doctors in trouble. And we’re seeing that right now in the news with this Nassar stuff. I don’t think any of these women were actually assaulted by Larry, but Larry didn’t learn that lesson and didn’t have a chaperone in the room, so now they see an opening and they can take advantage of him.”

According to the written account, he added: “As soon as I found out I had to fire his ass. I didn’t want to, but what am I supposed to do?”

The Journal also reports that, according to documents and interviews with former faculty and students, Strampel’s time at Michigan State was marked by complaints of inappropriate behavior. In one instance, a number of students claimed that Strampel offered himself up as a patient for them to practice rectal and prostate exams on. You can read the Journal’s full story here.