Report: Michigan State Delayed Sending Nassar Files To Department Of Education, Tried To End Federal Oversight

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Michigan State University, the employer of serial sexual abuser Larry Nassar for over two decades, did not notify federal officials of their investigation into Nassar in 2014, and has been slow in providing the federal government with documents related to Nassar despite being under Department of Education oversight since 2014 for their mishandling of sexual assault. That’s according to a new report from ESPN, which says that Michigan State still has not provided the complete paperwork required by the Department of Education. From the report:

The documents obtained by Outside the Lines show:

-Michigan State administrators in 2014 did not notify federal officials that the university had dual Title IX and campus police investigations of Nassar underway even though federal investigators were on campus that year scrutinizing how MSU dealt with sexual assault allegations.

-MSU administrators still have not provided to federal officials all documents related to the Nassar allegations.

The Office for Civil Rights, within the Department of Education, began investigating MSU after multiple female students complained about the school’s mishandling of sexual assault allegations, including one who reported being raped by two Michigan State basketball players. Federal investigators visited campus in 2014, which is the same year that both MSU Police and the school itself were conducting criminal and Title IX investigations, respectively, of a complaint into Nassar. (That complaint did not lead to charges, or any kind of professional consequences for Nassar.)


Despite the federal investigators’ presence, and later a 2015 agreement with the Office of Civil Rights that required notification and documentation of all prior complaints of sexual assault and harassment by January 2016, MSU did not share the reports made against Nassar.

In December 2016, three months after Nassar was finally fired by Michigan State following a wave of public assertions about his abuse, an MSU attorney wrote to federal officials and called the missing Nassar documents an “unfortunate oversight.” In March 2017, the school found eight more reports that they say had been “erroneously excluded,” though the ESPN report says it is not clear that those reports necessarily had to do with Nassar. ESPN says that MSU still has not provided the complete paperwork to federal officials, though a school attorney promised an update by Jan. 31.


Michigan State tried to end the Department of Education’s monitoring in October 2017, saying that they had been acting in “good faith” and had gone “above and beyond” the standards set in the 2015 agreement. The school’s president, Lou Anna Simon, announced her resignation Wednesday night.