Mark Emmert Was Made Aware of Michigan State Sexual Assault Reports in 2010

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2018

NCAA President Mark Emmert answers a question at a news conference Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Matt York/Associated Press

NCAA President Mark Emmert was made aware of sexual assault reports at Michigan State University in 2010.

Kathy Redmond, founder of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, gave Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic a copy of a letter dated November 17, 2010, which she sent to Emmert to urge him "to better protect women with new, stronger gender violence policy measures."

Auerbach specifically highlighted the letter's fourth paragraph, which cited reports of sexual violence involving two Michigan State basketball players:

"For example, despite recent reports of sexual violence involving two Michigan State University (MSU) basketball players, one of which admitted to raping the victim, neither man was charged criminally or even disciplined by the school. An earlier report of similar violence involving two other MSU basketball players also went un-redressed. In the past two years alone, 37 reports of sexual assault by MSU athletes have been reported, but not one disciplinary sanction was imposed by school officials against any of the men involved."

Redmond told Auerbach that one of her first interactions with Emmert after his promotion to NCAA president on November 1, 2010, seemed like it could yield positive results.  

"Mark Emmert was brand-new, and he'd initially said, 'One sexual assault is one too many,'" she said. "As soon as I heard that, I thought I might have an ally."

Larry Nassar, who previously worked at Michigan State and as a team doctor for USA Gymnastics, received a prison sentence of 40-175 years Wednesday after pleading guilty to seven counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with children under the age of 16. He is also awaiting sentencing on a further three counts.

An investigation by Paula Lavigne and Nicole Noren of ESPN's Outside the Lines revealed at least 16 Spartans football players were accused of sexual assault or violence against women dating back to 2007. The investigation also found "a pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression" by MSU officials when handling those types of allegations when student-athletes were involved.

The New York Times reported Tuesday the NCAA requested information from Michigan State "about any potential rules violations" stemming from the Nassar scandal. 

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