MSU is spending big bucks and being billed even more dollars in relation to the Larry Nassar case. This come on the heels of a statement from MSU Interim President John Engler that students and taxpayers might be "on the hook hook to help foot the bill if the university reaches a legal settlement with the victims of former sports medicine doctor Larry Nassar." (MLive)

As of March 2, the university had been billed for $9.69 million by outside law firms and consulting firms in connection with work on lawsuits or communications strategy related to Nassar's criminal case and related fallout. Nassar, a former university doctor, sexually abused hundreds of women and girls over his 20-year career.

Nearly all of that sum — $9 million — has been billed by six different law firms, according to records obtained by the State Journal.

A public relations firm billed MSU for more than $500,000 for January as it tracked social media activity surrounding the Larry Nassar case, which often included the accounts of victims and their families, journalists, celebrities and politicians.

The work, which also included collecting and evaluating news articles, had previously been done by members of Michigan State University's Office of Communication and Brand Strategy, some of whom continued to do so in January.

If a settlement is reached, how much are we potentially talking about as it relates to the students and taxpayers having to help pay (if not foot the bill altogether)?

Pennsylvania State University had costs upwards of $237 million in response to the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, according to a 2017 analysis by the Associated Press. The total includes settlements paid to victims, as well as various legal fees and fines.

Penn State has not tapped tuition or state funds to pay for any of those costs, said spokesperson Lisa Powers. She said insurance has paid for a portion of the costs, and the rest are expected to be funded through "interest revenues related to loans made by the University to its self-supporting units."

Whether the cost of a potential MSU settlement is comparable to the expenses faced by Penn State is unclear. A recent story by the Wall Street Journal put the price tag significantly higher - $500 million or more. That total includes a possible settlement, as well as legal fees and fines.

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