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NCAA clears Michigan State in Nassar sex-assault scandal

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The NCAA has cleared Michigan State University of any rules violations in the Larry Nassar sexual-assault scandal, the school announced Thursday.

Athletic director Bill Beekman said the university “cooperated fully with the inquiry” and welcomes the NCAA’s conclusion. The school said it got a letter this week from the NCAA’s vice president for enforcement, Jonathan Duncan.

Nassar, 55, pleaded guilty to assaulting girls and women while working as a campus sports doctor for Michigan State athletes and gymnasts in the region. Victims included U.S. Olympians who trained at Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics. He has been sentenced to decades in prison in three separate cases involving assault and child pornography.

Duncan’s letter said, “It does not appear there is a need for further inquiry,” according to Michigan State.

“While we agree with the NCAA that we did not commit a violation, that does not diminish our commitment to ensure the health, safety and wellness of our student athletes. That pledge permeates everything we do as part of a larger university commitment to making MSU a safer campus,” Beekman said in a statement.

Michigan State has denied that anyone covered up Nassar’s crimes. But former athletes say various campus staff downplayed or disregarded their complaints about him.

The university in May reached a $500 million settlement with hundreds of women and girls who said they were assaulted by Nassar.

Former gymnastics coach Kathie Klages, a longtime Nassar ally, appeared in court Thursday on charges of lying to investigators. Klages is accused of denying that gymnasts had ever complained of assaults by Nassar. Authorities say two teens complained to her back in 1997.

Defense attorney Mary Chartier said Klages will fight the charges.

Separately, the university said the NCAA found no violations in how the football and basketball teams responded to assault allegations against players.

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