UPDATE: House panel investigating sex abuse in sports

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — 1:50 p.m.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has begun an investigation of sexual abuse in organized sports.

Committee leaders from both political parties have sent letters to the U.S. Olympic Committee, Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics seeking information about how they handled sexual abuse allegations against disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar. The letters follow the sentencing of Nassar for molesting women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.

Nassar worked for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. The committee's investigation comes as Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis announced his retirement Friday. He's the second university official to step down this week. At USA Gymnastics, three top members of the board of directors resigned this month.

The House committee's letter to USA Gymnastics says the Nassar allegations "raise serious concerns about your organization's ability to oversee your sport and protect your athletes from abuse and mistreatment."

The committee also sent letters to USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo seeking information about how those organizations handled allegations of sexual misconduct.

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1:15 p.m.

Michigan State University has named its vice president to serve as acting president in the wake of Lou Ann Simon's resignation over the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.

Bill Beekman is expected to serve in an interim role until the board of trustees can hire an interim president and then a permanent leader. The decision was announced Friday at the campus in East Lansing, Michigan.

The move came hours after athletic director Mark Hollis announced his retirement.

Beekman is vice president and secretary of the board of trustees. He previously led the MSU Alumni Association and first began working at the university in 1995. He has an undergraduate degree from the school.

Nassar was a sports doctor for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics. He was sentenced this week to 40 to 175 years in prison for molesting women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.

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12:05 p.m.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says her agency is investigating the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal and will hold Michigan State University accountable for any violations of federal law.

DeVos confirmed the investigation Friday. The announcement comes as Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis says he's stepping down in the wake of the Nassar scandal. Hollis has been in the job for 10 years.

Nassar is accused of molesting dozens of women and girls for years. He worked for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics. He's been sentenced to decades in prison.

DeVos said in a statement that what happened at the school is "abhorrent" and "cannot happen ever again — there or anywhere."

The Education Department already has been investigating separate Title IX complaints at the university and the school's compliance with providing campus crime and security information.

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11:15 a.m.

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has stepped down in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal.

Hollis has been in the job for 10 years. He announced his retirement on Friday, two days after Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon stepped down amid the outcry over how the school handled allegations against Nassar, a former school employee accused of dozens of molesting girls and young women for years. Nassar also worked for USA Gymnastics, where he abused some of the world's elite gymnasts, including several Olympians.

Nassar has been sentenced to decades in prison.

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10 a.m.

Michigan State University's governing board was set Friday to have its first public meeting since the resignation of President Lou Anna Simon amid an outcry over complaints that the school missed chances to stop former sports doctor Larry Nassar from sexually assaulting young athletes and botched its response to the scandal.

Trustees plan to discuss the presidential transition, as the university prepares for new investigations by the state attorney general, state lawmakers and the NCAA while facing lawsuits filed by more than 130 women and girls.

Simon quit Wednesday, hours after Nassar was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison for molesting some of gymnastics' top athletes and others.

The board expressed support for Simon before her resignation, but she faced pressure from many students, faculty and legislators. While there has been no evidence that Simon knew Nassar was sexually abusing girls and women, some of the more than 150 women and girls who have accused him said they complained to university employees as far back as the late 1990s.

Students planned a Friday evening march and protest.



 
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