NewsNational News


NCAA investigating Michigan State over Larry Nassar case

Posted at 6:55 AM, Jan 24, 2018

The NCAA has opened an investigation into Michigan State University's handling of sexual abuse allegations against sports doctor Larry Nassar.

Nassar has pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct, and admitted to sexually assaulting young girls when he treated campus athletes and members of the USA Gymnastics.

Prominent Olympians including Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney, have said they were abused by Nassar.

In a statement, the NCAA said it's looking into whether the university violated any rules.

"The NCAA has sent a letter of inquiry to Michigan State University regarding potential NCAA rules violations related to the assaults Larry Nassar perpetrated against girls and young women, including some student-athletes at Michigan State," the NCAA said in a statement. It did not provide additional details.

Jason Cody, a spokesman for Michigan State, said the university is reviewing the letter for a response.

More than 100 young women have faced Nassar in court as he awaits his sentence.

University president, Lou Anna Simon, has recently come under fire for what critics say is mishandling of the scandal.

Several victims said they reported Nassar's behavior to the university years ago, but that they were either silenced or officials did nothing to end the abuse.

"Michigan State University, the school I loved and trusted, had the audacity to tell me that I did not understand the difference between sexual assault and a medical procedure," survivor Amanda Thomashow said last week.

Michigan State maintains no official believed Nassar committed sexual abuse until newspapers began reporting on the allegations during the summer of 2016. Any suggestion that the university engaged in a cover-up is "simply false," the university said in a statement.

Simon has expressed support for the women who've spoken out against Nassar, but said she has no plans to step down from the position she has held since January 2005. Nassar worked as a university sports physician from 1997 to 2016.

Michigan State faculty members Tuesday called for an emergency meeting of the faculty senate for a vote of no confidence in Simon, according to Robert Laduca Jr. of the Michigan State academic governance steering committee.

MSU's steering committee will ask Academic Congress, which comprises 2,200 faculty members, whether it supports having the faculty senate take a vote of no confidence in Simon, according to Laduca.

Besides questions about Michigan State's handling of complaints against the serial molester, the scandal has had repercussions for USA Gymnastics, which also employed him. That organization announced resignations from its board of directors' executive leadership.

USA Gymnastics and Michigan State have separately said they reported Nassar's abuse as soon as they learned about it.

Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilinais expected to announce Nassar's sentence. He faces up to 125 years in prison, and has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for federal child pornography charges.