Baylor did it too, and they escaped meaningful consequences as well. But that’s the successful playbook for covering up a sports scandal - deny in the media, attack the accusers, and sit on everything until the next scandal appears.
Report: More Than A Dozen Michigan State Staffers Were Told Of Larry Nassar's Sexual Abuse And Nothing Happened
On Wednesday, Michigan State attorney Mike Glazier sent the requested information to the NCAA, which amounted to yet another abdication of responsibility from the university. Posted online by the the Journal Sentinel, the letter said:
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.
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.
In the big picture, Michigan State is dealing with more formidable issues than the NCAA. Separate ongoing investigations are being carried out by the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. House of Representatives, the Michigan House of Representatives and the Attorney General’s Office. When it comes to the MSU athletics department, though, and punishments or sanctions in the wake of Nassar’s crimes, the NCAA is the governing body.
As it stands, Michigan State has not received an NCAA response to its March 22 letter. A university spokesman said Thursday: “At this point, it is up to the NCAA to respond.” Glazier declined to comment, directing a media inquiry to MSU’s Office of the General Counsel, which, in turn, directed that media inquiry to the university spokesperson.
In the meantime, there’s only speculation and, according to NCAA experts, there are two clear roads to consider.
On one hand, the NCAA can accept Michigan State’s interpretation and decline to investigate further. This conclusion is quite possible and befitting the organization’s role. The NCAA governs athletic competition, not criminal acts.
“There is no specific bylaw authority that would trigger NCAA violations for Nassar’s conduct,” said Josephine R. Potuto, a law professor at the University of Nebraska and a former member of the NCAA Division I infractions committee. “One could make a good argument that there was a failure of institutional control, but (failure of institutional control) needs to be tagged to specific substantive conduct that is a violation.”
“The whole thing is kind of straight,” added B. David Ridpath, an associate professor of sports management at Ohio University and an expert on NCAA infractions investigations. “Regardless of how abhorrent it is, it’s a stretch here that there are NCAA violations.”
That, though, is complicated by the NCAA’s past actions against Penn State. In that instance, the organization accepted Louis Freeh’s independent investigation of the university’s handling of Sandusky’s abuse and acted upon it (instead of conducting its own investigation). The Freeh Report found a “total and consistent disregard by the most senior leaders at Penn State for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims,” among other mass shortcomings in responsibility and university oversight.
Though the comparisons are more linear than intertwined, Nassar’s abuse at Michigan State has spawned a similar admonishment of university leadership. Glazier’s letter to the NCAA acknowledged that 25 Michigan State athletes from 1997 to 2016 have identified themselves as victims of Nassar. Six were abused after 2014 — the same year a Title IX probe conducted by Michigan State cleared Nassar of sexual assault allegations. As a result, those crimes ended the tenures of key members of Michigan State’s highest leadership, including former university president Lou Anna Simon and former athletic director Mark Hollis.
Considering the parallels, Ridpath wonders how the NCAA can look at Michigan State through a different lens than it did Penn State. “They kind of backed (themselves) into a corner with the Penn State litigation,” he said.
If anything, Michigan State’s situation, it could be argued, is more directly affixed to the NCAA’s student-athlete well-being tenet than Penn State’s.
“Obviously, you can say what you want about Jerry Sandusky, it was horrible, but it did not involve actual college athletes,” Ridpath said. “Using that as a standard (in that case), it would be tough for the NCAA to turn its back on this one (at Michigan State).”
The argument that these latest abject actions do not break any ncaa bylaws or rules is ludicrous.
Let me ask you this. Isn’t it time that the ncaa CREATE by laws for these abject actions?
What is it going to take?
Wasn’t nassar the team’s gymnastic doctor?
Isn’t gymnastic part of the msu athletic department?
Lawyers can’t fight the obvious to the end of time but there is going to be a time when people will be fed up with college sports. What will the ncaa do then?
On the same morning that former Michigan State gymnastics coach Kathie Klages was arraigned on charges of lying to police about her knowledge of Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse, the NCAA informed MSU that it couldn’t find any NCAA violations against the school for its response to Nassar’s atrocities.
Separately, the NCAA said its investigation into how MSU’s men’s basketball and football programs handled complaints against athletes — brought on by an ESPN Outside the Lines investigation — turned up “no substantiated violations of NCAA legislation.”
It is mind boggling to think that a doctor can have full control without any repercussions. Thesewent on for years. The common denominator here, at penn state, michigan state and who knows where else is that University staffers know what is going on. This culture of not reporting these most despicable acts reflects a real problem. You hear/read that Universities have a private line to report crimes. It makes these acts even more incomprehensible. I am against having the feds control our lives. In theses cases it is obvious that the local police choose to help the University. The police is supposed to protect us. 99.999% it is the case and they are heroes to put their lives on the line for us. There is now a conflict of interest between local police, University police and other forms of law enforcement.
The violations listed in the 46-page report, a copy of which was obtained by Outside the Lines, span the campus and include athletics, Greek life and residence halls, among other areas. The report found that university officials routinely failed to report crimes and disclose accurate crime statistics; failed to warn students of possible criminal threats; and failed to identify and train people who are responsible for reporting crimes. In addition, investigators found that the university had a “lack of administrative capability,” an impairment that the report noted was “one of the most serious findings that can result from a campus safety program review.”
In sum, federal officials told Michigan State administrators in the Dec. 14 report that the findings “constitute serious violations of the Clery Act.” Signed into law in 1990, the Clery Act requires colleges and universities that participate in federal student aid programs to report crime statistics and security concerns so the public can assess campus safety, including reports of sexual violence. The act does not directly mandate how schools should investigate crimes, provide services to victims or administer discipline, but focuses on how an institution handles reports of crimes and alerts students to possible dangers. Its goal is to ensure that a campus has policies and procedures to keep all students safe.
“As noted throughout this report, the findings documented by the department constitute serious violations of the Clery Act that, by their nature, cannot be cured. There is no way to truly ‘correct’ violations of these important campus safety and crime prevention laws once they occur,” the report said.