NCAA president Mark Emmert was alerted to 37 reports of sexual assault at Michigan State in 2010, The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach reported late Friday.
The report states that Kathy Redmond, the founder of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, provided a copy of a letter that she sent in 2010 to Emmert urging him to intervene with stronger action to curb violence against women under the NCAA’s purview.
The NCAA opened an investigation into Michigan State on Tuesday as first reported by the New York Times.
The investigation was prompted by the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal that saw the former doctor sentenced to as maximum of 175 years in prison for serially molesting young girls and women while under the employ of MSU and USA Gymnastics. MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon and athletic director Mark Hollis both resigned this week in the wake of the fallout from the Nassar case.
An ESPN report on Friday of rampant sexual assault by players under MSU football coach Mark Dantonio’s watch has increased the heat in East Lansing.
And now there’s this report that little action was taken by Emmert in 2010 when an advocate alerted him to misconduct at a major NCAA institution.
From Redmond’s letter to Emmert, as reported by The Athletic:
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 The Athletic that she was given hope by Emmert’s initial response to her concerns. Emmert was just a few months into the job when she wrote him.
“‘One sexual assault is one too many,'” Redmond told The Athletic that Emmert said to her. “As soon as I heard that, I thought I might have an ally.”
Redmond told The Athletic that Emmert invited her to Indianapolis where she pushed for initiatives, possible sanctions and other ways for the NCAA to assert itself against sexual violence.
She said she specifically mentioned Simon and her concern about the MSU president’s handling of sexual assault accusations against basketball players Keith Appling and Adreian Payne, the players alluded to in her letter.
Both players were allowed to remain on campus and on the team after police declined to press charges.
Now, more than seven years after Redmond’s letter, the NCAA is getting involved at Michigan State to address the Nassar case after the fact. How much power it has or is willing to yield in a case like this is yet to be seen.