NCAA opens investigation of Michigan State over Larry Nassar sex-abuse case

The NCAA has sent a letter of inquiry to Michigan State University to formally open an investigation into how the university handled the case of Larry Nassar, the doctor who sexually assaulted numerous female athletes, according to a report released Tuesday from the New York Times.

Nassar was a faculty member and practicing doctor at the university from 1997 to 2016 and treated athletes at the school along with members of the United States national gymnastics team. He is currently being sentenced for the sex crimes, and is already serving prison time for child pornography.

Although the NCAA was widely criticized for its handling of the Penn State case involving Jerry Sandusky, the longtime assistant football coach who sexually abused young boys, the Times reports that the governing body is looking into potential rules violations in the Nassar case.

"The NCAA has requested information from Michigan State about any potential rules violations," said Donald M. Remy, the association's chief legal officer.

In the wake of the Nassar case and mounting pressure on Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon to resign, the school board of trustees -- including the vice chairman -- has thrown its support behind her. On Tuesday, Joel Ferguson said said there are "so many more things going on" at Michigan State "than just this Nassar thing."

"She's a fighter," Ferguson said. "Her overall, what she's done for this university, she's not going to get ran out of there by what somebody else did."

University police received a report about Dr. Nassar as early as May 2014.

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