NCAA is looking into whether MIchigan State violated any rules in handling of case
Larry Nassar was a doctor for MIchigan State athletes and USA Gymnastics
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 in Ingham County, Michigan, and admitted to sexually assaulting young girls when he treated campus athletes and members of the USA Gymnastics.
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 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.
Larissa Boyce, a former youth club gymnast at MSU, is one of Nassar’s first known accusers. Boyce said she alerted coach Kathie Klages about Nassar’s abuse in 1997 but was told she probably didn’t understand medical technique.
Boyce said she’s furious that her report two decades ago wasn’t taken seriously – and that many other girls had to suffer.
“He could have been stopped back then,” Boyce told CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday. “They could have all been spared from this pain. … There’s not enough words to describe how it makes me feel, knowing it could have been prevented.”
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,” it 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 was a university sports physician from 1997 to 2016.
Michigan State faculty members have 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 includes 2,200 faculty members, whether it supports having the Faculty Senate take a no-confidence vote 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.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina was expected to announce Nassar’s sentence Wednesday. He faces up to 125 years in prison and has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for federal child pornography charges.
CNN’s Dave Alsup, Lauren del Valle and Holly Yan contributed to this report.