If Mark Emmert was aware of the Michigan State sexual assault cases, can the organization actually punish school?
EAST LANSING – Michigan State received a letter from the NCAA this week that cleared it of any potential violations in the wake of Larry Nassar’s abuse and allegations of sexual assault against the school’s basketball and football programs, according to the university.
Jonathan F. Duncan, the NCAA’s vice president of enforcement, wrote to new MSU athletic director Bill Beekman, “that it does not appear there is a need for further inquiry.”
“We welcome closure in regards to the NCAA inquiry,” Beekman said in a statement. “MSU cooperated fully with the inquiry over the past several months and provided all requested documentation and access to key personnel.”
Oliver F. Luck, at the time an NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs, sent then-MSU athletic director Mark Hollis a letter of inquiry on Jan. 23 about the situation involving Nassar, the former MSU sports medicine doctor, who sexually abused hundreds of women and girls, including some who were MSU athletes, under the guise of medical treatments.
Luck has since moved on to head up the new incarnation of the XFL, the professional football league.
Hollis resigned three days after receiving the letter on Jan. 26, the same day an ESPN report detailed allegations of sexual assaults against football and basketball players from the past decade. The NCAA opened a second review after ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” report and a Free Press investigation.
Michigan State coaches Mark Dantonio, left, and Tom Izzo. (Photo: Rey Del Rio, Getty Images)
MSU responded to the NCAA on March 23 and told the college sports’ governing body it felt that no violations of NCAA legislation occured. Duncan wrote Bill Beekman that the NCAA’s inquiry and review “has not substantiated violations of NCAA legislation” in either the Nassar situation or the football/basketball allegations.
“In regards to the crimes committed on our campus by Larry Nassar, the NCAA findings do not change a thing,” Beekman said. “NCAA member organizations have a specific set of rules to which we hold each other accountable. And while we agree with the NCAA that we did not commit a violation, that does not diminish our commitment to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student athletes. That pledge permeates everything we do as part of a larger university commitment to making MSU a safer campus.
“As it relates to the handling of student-athlete conduct issues, at Michigan State we are committed to following all appropriate policies and procedures. Today’s findings provide external validation of Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo and the way they administer their programs. Mark and Tom represent the athletic department and Michigan State University with integrity.
“The enforcement staff appreciates the institution’s cooperation and its responsiveness to both inquiries.”
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