Michi­gan hires for­mer USA Gym­nas­tics ex­ec­u­tive Faehn

Yuma Sun - - STATS AND FACTS -

ANN AR­BOR, Mich. — The Univer­sity of Michi­gan hired for­mer USA Gym­nas­tics ex­ec­u­tive Rhonda Faehn as a women’s gym­nas­tics coach­ing consultant, an­nounc­ing the move Sat­ur­day af­ter The Michi­gan Daily re­ported the hire ear­lier in the day.

USA Gym­nas­tics parted ways with Faehn as se­nior vice pres­i­dent in May af­ter she was crit­i­cized by vic­tims of Larry Nas­sar, the for­mer na­tional team doc­tor serv­ing decades in prison for abus­ing ath­letes.

Faehn was with the Wolver­ines for a meet at Alabama on Fri­day, a day af­ter she agreed to work for the school through this sea­son.

“I am heart­ened at the out­pour­ing of sup­port that I re­ceived this week­end,” Faehn said. “I am thrilled to join the Univer­sity of Michi­gan and am ap­pre­cia­tive of the care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion demon­strated by the ad­min­is­tra­tion. I am ex­cited to work with these young women and am thank­ful for their en­thu­si­as­tic sup­port.”

Michi­gan ath­letic di­rec­tor Warde Manuel said he sup­ported the hir­ing rec­om­men­da­tion made by gym­nas­tics coach Bev Plocki af­ter re­view­ing her role with USA Gym­nas­tics and her coach­ing ca­reer. “The well­be­ing and safety of our stu­dent-ath­letes is al­ways our high­est pri­or­ity,” Manuel said. “Our cur­rent stu­den­tath­letes had a promi­nent voice through­out this search process to pro­vide their per­spec­tive. This in­cluded a meet­ing be­tween me and the cap­tains be­fore a fi­nal de­ci­sion was made.

“Af­ter our ex­haus­tive due dili­gence, we felt com­fort­able that Coach Faehn re­ported all in­for­ma­tion avail­able to her re­gard­ing Larry Nas­sar and that she co­op­er­ated fully, in­clud­ing vol­un­tar­ily par­tic­i­pat­ing in all in­ves­ti­ga­tions and of­fer­ing tes­ti­mony be­fore Congress. Nei­ther an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion by USA Gym­nas­tics or a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the FBI have as­signed cul­pa­bil­ity or re­sulted in any charges against her.”

USA Gym­nas­tics hired Faehn in 2015 and she over­saw the women’s elite pro­gram, draw­ing on her ex­pe­ri­ence as a U.S. na­tional team mem­ber in the 1980s and a three-time na­tional cham­pi­onship coach at Florida. Faehn was alerted to po­ten­tial abuse con­cerns about Nas­sar. She passed along the con­cerns to then-USA Gym­nas­tics pres­i­dent Steve Penny, who was later ar­rested on charges he or­dered files per­tain­ing to Nas­sar re­moved from the team’s train­ing cen­ter.

Aly Rais­man raised con­cerns re­cently about Faehn’s role in the mat­ter. Rais­man said she wasn’t sure why Faehn did not go to au­thor­i­ties her­self.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion con­ducted an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­fore re­mov­ing Nas­sar and go­ing to fed­eral au­thor­i­ties. USA Gym­nas­tics did not alert Michi­gan State, where Nas­sar was a fac­ulty mem­ber, or a club in Michi­gan af­fil­i­ated with Nas­sar. He pleaded guilty to mo­lest­ing women and girls un­der the guise of treat­ment and was caught with child pornog­ra­phy.

Michi­gan State reached a $500 mil­lion set­tle­ment with hun­dreds of Nas­sar’s vic­tims. While USA Gym­nas­tics has been hit with mul­ti­ple law­suits from vic­tims, Faehn has not been per­son­ally named in any of them un­like Penny and long­time na­tional team co­or­di­na­tor Martha Karolyi.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.