NCAA opens investigation into how Michigan State handled Larry Nassar case
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The NCAA is examining how Michigan State University handled the case of sports doctor Larry Nassar, who faces prison time for sexually assaulting Olympic gymnasts and other young female athletes.
Nassar worked at Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. Former Spartan athletes are among the more than 150 women and girls who have spoken over the last week at Nassar’s sentencing. Women’s gymnastics coach Kathie Klages resigned last year after she was suspended for defending Nassar over the years.
NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said Tuesday the organization has sent a letter of inquiry to the school “regarding potential NCAA rules violations related to the assaults Larry Nassar perpetrated against girls and young women, including some student-athletes at Michigan State.” She declined further comment in an email to The Associated Press.
A university spokesman confirmed the NCAA had sent a letter, but said he had not seen it and it is being reviewed to prepare a response.
Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to assaulting seven people in the Lansing area, but the sentencing hearing has been open to anyone who said they were a victim. More than 150 women and girls have confronted him in court or had a statement read on their behalf since Jan. 16.
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina will sentence Nassar on Wednesday after hearing from a few more accusers. Under a plea deal, he faces a minimum of 25 to 40 years behind bars, although the actual punishment could be much higher. He already has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes.
The New York Times first reported that the NCAA had sent a letter of inquiry to MSU.