NCAA clears Michigan State of wrongdoing in Larry Nassar scandal

Michigan State University announced on Thursday that it has been cleared of any NCAA violations in its handling of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Bill Beekman, Michigan State’s new athletic director, was notified of the NCAA’s decision in a letter from Jonathan F. Duncan, the NCAA’s vice president of enforcement. In the letter, Duncan said the investigation “has not substantiated violations of NCAA legislation,” and“that it does not appear there is a need for further inquiry.” The NCAA’s investigation is over. 

The NCAA also cleared Michigan State of any violations in a second investigation into how the university handled sexual assault allegations against basketball and football players.

The NCAA investigation began in January, when it sent a letter of inquiry to Mark Hollis, who was Michigan State’s athletic director at the time, asking for a response to any violations it had committed while handling the Nassar sexual assault case. Hollis resigned three days later, which happened to be the same day ESPN released a report on sexual assault allegations against football and basketball players at the university. The NCAA later started a separate investigation into how university handled those allegations.

Michigan State responded on March 23, saying that it didn’t believe it had violated any NCAA legislations. The NCAA ended up agreeing.

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Key names in the Nassar sexual abuse case fallout
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Key names in the Nassar sexual abuse case fallout

Former doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for the sexual abuse he committed on over 150 gymnasts.

(Photo credit should read JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

MSU president Lou Anna Simon announced her resignation on January 24. 

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

MSU athletic director Mark Hollis resigned on January 26.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun called for the entirety of the USA Gymnastics board to step down. 

(Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

Head basketball coach Tom Izzo is under scrutiny after several of his former players have been accused of sexual misconduct while at MSU. 

(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Head football coach Mark Dantonio called claims that he mishandled sexual assault allegations as "completely false."

(Photo by Adam Ruff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former Michigan State University gymnastics head coach Kathie Klages

(Sundeep Dhanjal/The State News via AP File)

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Nassar, who used “medical treatments” to abuse hundreds of girls and women as a Michigan State doctor and team doctor for USA Gymnastics, was sentenced in January to up to 175 years in prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of sexually assaulting minors.

Via the Michigan State website, Beekman released a statement defending the university, as well as coaches Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo, and reiterated their commitment to following “all appropriate policies and procedures.”

“We welcome closure in regards to the NCAA inquiry. MSU cooperated fully with the inquiry over the past several months and provided all requested documentation and access to key personnel.

“In regards to the crimes committed on our campus by Larry Nassar, the NCAA findings do not change a thing. 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.”

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter at @lizroscher.

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