The NCAA may have to answer some questions about their potential involvement (or lack thereof) in what happened at Michigan State. After Larry Nassar, was sentenced to a minimum of 100 years in prison for child molestation, an ESPN investigation revealed that Michigan State allowed over a dozen sexual assault cases go unpunished. After the NCAA announced they will investigate what all happened at Michigan State, it came to light that the NCAA and specifically Mark Emmert may have also known about what was going on at Michigan State from as far back as 2010.
The Athletic was given a copy of a letter from National Coalition Against Violent Athletes founder Kathy Redmond that alerted Emmert to what was being reported at Michigan State, where there were 37 separate cases of sexual assault that involved athletes.
One part of the letter from November 17, 2o10 to Emmert showed the situation where she described the case of basketball players Keith Appling and Adreian Payne, who were reported and questioned for a sexual assault, but charges weren’t filed.
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 due to the letter, the new NCAA president invited her for a face-to-face meeting. Redmond revealed she thought she had an “ally” who was willing to work with her about sexual abuse. It was during that face-to-face meeting that Redmond even told Emmert about her concerns with Michigan State president Lou Anna Simon, who just resigned.
Things eventually turned and according to Redmond, Emmert’s actions weren’t matching what he was originally planning on doing. Redmond believed that Emmert was in a situation where he entered the job wanting to make a difference but was essentially weighed down by a board who was more powerful than Emmert was and things ended right there.
“What I really got from the experience with Mark Emmert was, that governing body governs him,” Redmond said. “He met with me, which was great and I appreciated that. But the governing board has an awful lot of power. … It’s a strange setup. You do kind of get the fox guarding the hen house mentality. You do feel like the NCAA doesn’t like to do investigations because they like their relationships (with university officials and conferences). I think Mark Emmert came in with the right tone but quickly realized, ‘There’s not a lot I can do here.’ ”
During this time, the NCAA had been dealing with such issues as taking wins away from USC for Reggie Bush receiving recruiting gifts, taking wins away from Florida State for academic fraud, and investigating multiple Ohio State players for selling their memorabilia from football and trading autographs for tattoos that resulted in suspensions and the resignation of Jim Tressel.
It only took until January 2018 for the NCAA to now investigate the university for something they supposedly knew about in 2010. Maybe the NCAA will take this investigation seriously, but many will be skeptical due to the NCAA now jumping in when the spotlight is on Michigan State and not years ago.