Report: NCAA prez warned of Michigan State sexual assault problem in 2010

Word of sexual misconduct within Michigan State University athletics, thrust into the spotlight by Larry Nassar's far-reaching abuse and subsequently reported in explosive detail by ESPN's Outside The Lines, may have extended all the way to the top of the NCAA.

That's according to The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach, who reported Friday that "NCAA president Mark Emmert was specifically alerted in November 2010 -- six months after he was hired as the organization's president -- to 37 reports involving Michigan State athletes sexually assaulting women."

Auerbach cites a letter that Kathy Redmond, of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, sent to Emmert, adding that Redmond said she later met with Emmert about the concerns. But Redmond also suggests that the NCAA president, who once said that "one sexual assault is one too many," essentially resigned himself to the notion that the NCAA "can't be state actors."

Redmond is quoted as thanking Emmert for engaging in discussion of the reports as part of a 90-minute meeting, but she also paints the president as someone who hesitated to enact "written policy, guidelines, corrective actions, possible sanctions" -- all things she and Wendy Murphy, an accompanying legal expert, sought in the face of abuse reports -- because of the "strange setup" and "hen house mentality" of governing boards.

Michigan State, for what it's worth, has already faced some repercussions of its widespread abuse problem. On the same day USA Gymnastics, another former Nassar employer, saw its entire governing body resign after the former doctor and trainer was sentenced to 40-175 years in prison for molesting more than 100 women, MSU athletic director Mark Hollis announced his retirement. University president Lou Anna Simon had already stepped down as pressure mounted for her to resign, and now reports indicate that "a culture of sexual and physical assault existed inside the football and men's basketball program" at the school.

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo shot down retirement rumors on Friday night, and Spartans football coach Mark Dantonio claimed the allegations in the OTL story were false.

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