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NCAA to investigate Michigan State's handling of Nassar abuse scandal

Last Updated Jan 24, 2018 3:57 AM EST

The NCAA has confirmed to CBS News that it has sent a letter to the school's athletic department about disgraced gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who is accused of abusing more than 120 women and girls. Women and girls who have accused him of abuse have been speaking at his sentencing hearing over the past week.

Nassar is due back in a Lansing, Michigan, courtroom Wednesday for sentencing.  

The NCAA issued a statement to CBS News saying, ""The NCAA 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. We will have no further comment at this time."

Michigan State spokesperson Jason Cody told CBS News, "I can confirm the NCAA has sent the MSU Athletic Department a letter. I have not seen it. MSU is reviewing it for a response."

The New York Times reported Tuesday that the NCAA sent the letter to MSU.

The newspaper said Donald Remy, the association's chief legal officer, said the NCAA "has requested information from Michigan State about any potential rules violations."

Nassar worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. 

In 2017, MSU police did their own investigation into Nassar. In their report, they say that the MSU trainer "said she has never had an athlete tell her that Nassar made them uncomfortable."

Back in 2014, an MSU investigation into a complaint against Nassar cleared him of sexual harassment, but led to guidelines that included having someone in the room and little to no skin-to-skin contact in sensitive areas.

After then, MSU police said at least 12 assaults by Nassar were reported.

Former Spartan athletes are among the more than 120 women and girls who have spoken over the last week at Nassar's sentencing. 

Survivors at the hearing have slammed MSU on its response to the scandal. Four athletes treated at MSU who were among the survivors providing victim statements during Nassar's sentencing hearing spoke to CBS News about their experience.

Gymnast Larissa Boyce said she was 16 in 1997 when she complained to MSU coach Kathie Klages that she suspected Nassar was abusing her.

"Kathie came back in the room with just me at this point, and said, 'Well, I can file something but there's going to be very serious consequences for both you and Dr. Nassar,'' she said. "And I said, 'Well, I don't want to get anybody in trouble.' I just felt humiliated. I felt silenced. I felt embarrassed."

Tiffany Thomas Lopez played softball for MSU. She says she was abused by Nassar from 1999 to 2001 following a back injury, and that she complained to an MSU athletic trainer. "Our stories are so eerily similar, it like, makes my chest hurt," Lopez said.

"And then she says, 'You're going to make a lot of people uncomfortable. You can do this.' You know, she made sure to tell me, like, 'You can do this, you can file a complaint, but this is going to be big news. What's going to happen to him?' That's what it was just all about."

Women's gymnastics coach Kathie Klages resigned last year after she was suspended for defending Nassar for years.