EAST LANSING, Mich. — The “abhorrent” criminal conduct by now-convicted sexual abuser Larry Nassar while he was a sports doctor at Michigan State did not violate NCAA rules, an attorney for the university has told the governing body of college sports.
The school shared its findings in a letter from attorney Mike Glazier to the NCAA, sent in March as a response to the organization’s request to look into potential rule violations related to Nassar, the imprisoned former doctor who was paid to treat Spartans athletes.
“I trust that you will see that the university is in no way attempting to sidestep the issues facing it, and that if the university had any reason to believe the criminal conduct of Nassar also implicated NCAA rules violations, the university would accept responsibility in that area as well,” Glazier wrote in the letter, released by the school on Wednesday. “However, after a thorough and analytic examination of NCAA legislation, and an application of the known facts associated with the Nassar matter to NCAA legislation, the university finds no NCAA rules violations.”
Glazier also noted an NCAA bylaw related to the well-being of athletes is not subject to enforcement rules.
“We have nothing further to share at this time,” NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said Thursday. A message seeking further comment was left with Michigan State.
The NCAA sent a letter to Michigan State in January asking for any potential rules violations related to Nassar, the first indication an investigation by the governing body might be next.
Many victims said they reported Nassar’s abuse to various members of Michigan State’s staff. Campus police got their first report regarding Nassar in 2014, but the Ingham County prosecutor declined to file charges. The school continued to employ him after he was the subject of a sexual assault investigation in 2014. Former Michigan State gymnastics coach Kathie Klages resigned last year after she was suspended for defending Nassar.
Nassar, accused by dozens of women, including U.S. Olympians, was sentenced earlier this year to decades in prison for sexually abusing women.
The letter to the NCAA acknowledged 25 Michigan State athletes from 1997 to 2016 were among the individuals who identified themselves through litigation as victims of Nassar. Six of those say the abuse happened since 2014, according to the school. A Title IX probe conducted by the university cleared Nassar of sexual assault allegations that year.
The school announced Wednesday many recommendations in a final Title IX report outlining opportunities to enhance sexual misconduct prevention and education are in development. Interim school President John Engler said suggestions to add new staff resources and evaluating ways to review the campus climate have already begun.
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