NCAA clears MSU of wrongdoing in Nassar case

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The NCAA has cleared Michigan State University of any wrongdoing in the way it handled the Larry Nassar case.

Earlier this year, the NCAA launched investigations into MSU’s handling of the Larry Nassar scandal as well as allegations of sexual assault by football and basketball players.

The NCAA wanted to know if the university had violated any of the organization’s rules.

Today, MSU announced that it received a letter from the NCAA’s Vice President of Enforcement. There were no substantial violations of NCAA’s rules.

He adds that there does not appear to be any need for more investigations. The association’s enforcement staff even thanked MSU for cooperating with both inquiries.

Many people are reacting to this news today, including university officials and survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse.

After NCAA officials sent this letter to MSU athletic director Bill Beekman yesterday, some took it to be good news, while others didn’t.

Those with the university are glad they’re getting this closure, but a few Nassar survivors who 6 News spoke with today are not as happy.

“To me, that’s just highly frustrating because obviously like this is a very large situation,” said Larry Nassar survivor Lindsey Lemke.

Lemke says even though the NCAA says MSU did nothing wrong in their handling of Nassar’s abuse, she doesn’t believe it.

“There were people who knew about his abuse and still let it happen, and they say that there’s nothing wrong with that, there’s no violations,” said Lemke.

But athletic director Bill Beekman says:

“I would’ve been stunned if it were any other result.”

He’s glad MSU has closure with the investigation.

“It’s something that I’ve known and believed all along. It’s nice to get that external verification, but it’s not a surprise,” said Beekman.

Natalie Rogers, a member of Reclaim MSU, says unlike Beekman, she was shocked by the news and doesn’t think it’s right.

“If the NCAA policy found nothing wrong with how MSU handled everything, then there’s something wrong with the policy,” said Rogers.

With Lemke experiencing Nassar’s abuse first hand, she’s upset that the NCAA isn’t holding MSU responsible for it.

“If Larry Nassar abusing hundreds of girls over two decades isn’t considered a violation, then at this point what is?,” said Lemke.

6 News also reached out to Nassar survivor Rachael Denhollander today, who said she’s deeply disappointed and agrees with Rogers in saying that the NCAA needs to revisit its rules.

But in the letter to Beekman, it said if any more information becomes available, they’ll decide if they need to look into the situation further.    

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ORIGINAL STORY: 

The NCAA has cleared Michigan State University of any wrongdoing in its handling of the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal and its handling of sexual assaults and other incidents as reported by ESPN.

The NCAA’s findings only relate to potential violations of NCAA rules.

Larry Nassar, a former MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor, was accused by hundreds of athletes – many of them Spartan women – of being sexually assaulted under the guise of treatment over the course of 20 years. Several of his survivors say they told people at the university about the assaults.

Among those who victims say were told was former gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, who was charged today with lying to investigators about the Nassar investigation.

Nassar subsequently pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a handful of women and girls in Ingham and Eaton counties. He sentences in those cases and a federal child pornography plea will keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.

The NCAA launched an investigation in January into MSU’s handling of the situation. The NCAA added to its investigation after a report on the sports network ESPN detailed the university’s and athletic department’s response to assaults and sexual assaults.

In a recent letter to the university, MSU says the NCAA’s Vice President of Enforcement said the organization “has not substantiated violations of NCAA legislation.”

“In regards to the crimes committed on our campus by Larry Nassar, the NCAA findings do not change a thing,” said MSU Athletic Director Bill Beekman. “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.

Beekman also said the letter vindicates football coach Mark Dantonio and basketball coach Tom Izzo for their handling of player situations as reported by ESPN. 

“Mark and Tom represent the athletic department and Michigan State University with integrity,” Beekman said in the same statement.

You can read the letter from the NCAA below.

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