The Michigan State University athletic department is now the subject of investigation by the NCAA concerning its response to allegations of abuse by former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar.

In a short statement release Tuesday night, the NCAA announced that it has “sent a letter of inquiry to Michigan State University regarding potential NCAA rules violations related to the assaults Larry Nassar perpetrated against girls and young women, including some student-athletes at Michigan State.”

MSU spokesperson Jason Cody confirmed the school’s receipt of the letter, telling the Detroit Free Press, “I have not seen it. We are reviewing it for a response.”

According to NCAA bylaws, “(i)t is the responsibility of each member institution to protect the health of and provide a safe environment for each of its participating student-athletes.”

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However, many have skepticism regarding whether it is the place of the NCAA to interfere in such escalated legal matters.

In a radio interview Monday, MSU trustee Joel Ferguson laughed at the possibility of an NCAA investigation, saying, “This is not Penn State. They were dealing with their football program. [The NCAA] is smart enough to know they're not competent to walk in here on this.”

Related: NCAA's Punishment of Penn State Swift, Severe

The Detroit Free Press reported that Ferguson later apologized for the remarks.

The investigation by the NCAA is in the early stages. NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy told the New York Times that the organization has only just requested information from MSU regarding any “potential rules violations.” 

Courtney Cameron is Editorial Assistant of Athletic Business.