Michigan State board VP backs Lou Anna Simon: 'She's a fighter'

— -- The vice president of Michigan State University's governing board said university president Lou Anna Simon won't resign because of the Larry Nassar scandal.

Joel Ferguson told East Lansing, Michigan, radio station WVFN-AM on Monday that it "will not happen. Period."

There's a growing call for Simon to step down over how the university handled sexual assault allegations against Nassar, who was a campus sports doctor. At a sentencing hearing that has gone on for a week, more than 150 women and girls have confronted Nassar or had statements read in court.

Many victims said they complained years ago but nothing happened. A former prosecutor hired by Michigan State said there's no evidence that campus officials knew what Nassar was doing.

On Tuesday, two professors at the school raised the possibility of a no-confidence vote in Simon during a University Council meeting, the Detroit Free Press reported. The question is expected to be sent out Wednesday to more than 2,000 faculty members to determine if there is enough support to convene a Faculty Senate meeting on the matter. A no-confidence vote would bring further pressure on the school to remove Simon.

Ferguson said there are "so many more things going on" at Michigan State "than just this Nassar thing." He said Simon has been the best president in his 30 years as a trustee. Simon has been Michigan State's president since 2005.

"She's a fighter," Ferguson said. "Her overall, what she's done for this university, she's not going to get ran out of there by what somebody else did."

On Tuesday, Ferguson's spokesperson issued a statement to the Detroit Free Press saying Ferguson regretted referring to the scandal as "this Nassar thing."

"Joel Ferguson deeply regrets the inadvertent comment he made on a local radio program that trivialized the experience of the victims of Larry Nassar," the statement read. "He recognizes the suffering of these young women and had intended to refer to it as 'the Nassar tragedy.' Mr. Ferguson deeply regrets his comment and apologizes to those he offended."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.