Nassar ran a clinic and gymnastics club at Michigan State, and the university is accused of mishandling reports of his abuse.
The NCAA will investigate Michigan State over the university's handling of the Larry Nassar case, reports the New York Times. Nassar ran a clinic and gymnastics club at Michigan State, where he was a faculty member for decades.
Nassar sexually assaulted scores of underage girls during his time as a doctor for the U.S. women's gymnastics national team and at Michigan State. Current or former members of the Michigan State gymnastics, volleyball, rowing, softball and track and field programs are among the 153 women who have given victim statements over the first six days of Nassar's sentencing hearing.
“The N.C.A.A. has requested information from Michigan State about any potential rules violations,” Donald M. Remy, the association’s chief legal officer, told the Times on Tuesday.
Michigan State spokesman Jason Cody confirmed to the Lansing State Journal that the university had received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA, but he did not disclose its content.
Last week, The Detroit News ran a piece that claims victims of Nassar's abuse reported his misconduct to at least 14 Michigan State university representatives, including university president Lou Anna Simon. In the piece, multiple victims accuse the university of not doing nearly enough to investigate, with some even going as far as to say the university made them feel shameful for reporting his misconduct at all. In particular, Kathie Klages, a gymnastics coach who retired from the university last year, has been accused of actively trying to cover up claims of abuse against Nassar.
Coincidentally, Simon—who has been called on to resign by the student newspaper, and whose future has been discussed by the university's trustees—is the chairwoman of the NCAA's executive committee. She said she reported the claims of abuse when she first hear them, a position that equates to denying any wrongdoing.
The NCAA's bylaws require each institution to protect the safety and wellbeing of student-athletes. If Michigan State is found to have ignored or covered up claims of sexual abuse, the university will almost certainly face severe punishment, though it is not clear which programs could be affected.
Nassar was a well-respected physician who, in addition to his work at Michigan State, tended to some of the United States' most famous Olympic athletes. Olympic gold medalists McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and Simone Biles have all said that Nassar abused them under the guise of medical treatment. He has pleaded guilty to assaulting nine girls but faces civil suits from more than 150 others. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography.