Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Thursday that her agency is investigating Michigan State University and vowed to hold the university accountable.
DeVos’ statement came the day after Larry Nassar, a sports doctor at Michigan State who treated Olympic gymnasts, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after more than 150 women and girls said he had sexually abused them.
ESPN reported Thursday that Michigan State administrators had failed to tell federal investigators — probing separate Title IX complaints on campus — about complaints against Nassar.
“The Department is investigating this matter and will hold MSU accountable for any violations of federal law,” DeVos said in a statement.
“My heart breaks for the survivors of Larry Nassar’s disgusting crimes,” she said. “What happened at Michigan State is abhorrent. It cannot ever happen again — there or anywhere. Students must be safe and protected on our nation’s campuses.”
Also Thursday, a bipartisan pair of senators sent letters to the national gymnastics governing body demanding information about whether it tried to keep an Olympic gold medalist from speaking publicly about Nassar. Another lawmaker called for congressional hearings about sexual abuse in sports.
Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon stepped down under pressure following the sentencing Wednesday. The NCAA, meanwhile, launched an investigation this week into the situation.