USAG cancels the Ranch

Good call.

Kerry Perry, president and CEO of USA Gymnastics:

“USA Gymnastics has terminated its agreement with the Karolyi Ranch in Huntsville, Texas. It will no longer serve as the USA Gymnastics National Team Training Center.

“It has been my intent to terminate this agreement since I began as president and CEO in December. Our most important priority is our athletes, and their training environment must reflect this. We are committed to a culture that empowers and supports our athletes.

“We have cancelled next week’s training camp for the U.S. Women’s National Team. We are exploring alternative sites to host training activities and camps until a permanent location is determined. We thank all those in the gymnastics community assisting in these efforts.”

___

related:

Tony Retrosi is the United States Elite Coaches Association Chairman.

That’s an organization independent of USAG.

Tony:

Is it time for the National Team Training Center at Karolyi’s Ranch to close?

Yes!

… The information I can share is USAG is working on a plan for the new training center. In August they had 5 parties interested in working with USAG to build a new training center. …

Some have mentioned the USOTC in Colorado Springs as an alternative—good idea but it can barely handle the training schedule required for the men. …

The USA needs a world class training facility where coaches and gymnasts can learn and train with minimal distractions—a National Team Training Center where our National Teams in all disciplines can train on a regular basis and where we can develop the talent of our up and coming coaches as well.

We need USA Gymnastics University to be both a brick-and-mortar University (at the National Team Training Center) and an online source as well. We need the best and brightest to be teaching at national, regional and state congresses and conferences. I personally would like a university where gymnastics professionals can go and learn from the best and one to where the best can go and share their ideas and drills with each other.

This university and training center must be a safe place for all participants.

The funding involved in doing this would be astronomical, however, we MUST move forward at all costs and anything worthwhile starts with a dream. …

read more on Facebook

USA Gymnastics University provides voluntary coach education courses in the USA.

Colorado Springs 2014 photo

John Geddert faces abuse allegations

Unrelated to the Nassar case.

Lindsey Lemke is among many women and girls who started training at Twistars when she was 7-years-old. She’s currently a senior at Michigan State University. She competes on the university’s gymnastics team.

“When I was younger, I thought I was lucky to be coached by  Geddert,” she said. “He was very well known and without a doubt had the best gymnastics club in Michigan.” …

… Geddert  threw things at gymnasts during practice, including water bottles, blocks and pens.

Lemke also said  Geddert would tell girls straight to their face that they were fat, “some who weighed only 100 – 110  pounds,” she added. …

Christy Lemke, Lindsey’s mother, said  Geddert  is “known” for the physical and emotional stress he puts on athletes he trains. …

Owner of popular Twistars Gymnastics Club faces abuse allegations

Related to the Nassar case …

Twistars Gymnastics and its owner files motion to dismiss in Nassar lawsuits

Nassar victim impact statements

She watched him the whole time. Kyle Stephens stood in Courtroom 5 of the Veterans Memorial Courthouse, steps away from the man who molested her throughout her childhood, and she looked right at him.

Stephens decided two weeks ago to go public—to let the world know her name and see her face. But Larry Nassar needed no introduction. He has known Stephens since she was six years old …

Sports Illustrated

Kyle Stephens

Statements will continue all week.

To catch up on the issues I’d recommend listening to GymCastic 287: Simone and Maggie Too.

McKayla Maroney can speak

USA Gymnastics said Tuesday evening it will not pursue any money from McKayla Maroney if she speaks publicly about alleged abuse. …

Maroney, who first shared her story via Twitter, signed a nondisclosure agreement in December 2016, agreeing to stay quiet about the abuse she experienced as part of a $1.25 million settlement with USA Gymnastics, part of which she said would be used for psychological treatment. …

USA Today 

That’s the right thing to do … regardless of the motivations of USAG. And their lawyers.

The wrong thing to do was to enter into that agreement with McKayla in the first place.

Paul Ziert posted a response from USAG:

In 2016, McKayla Maroney’s attorney at the time, Gloria Allred, approached USA Gymnastics, requesting that the organization participate in a confidential mediation process.

The concept of confidentiality was initiated by McKayla’s attorney, not USA Gymnastics. …

The settlement was paid fully from insurance policy proceeds. The individuals in the chain of approval were: USA Gymnastics leadership (Paul Parillla, Board chair; Steve Penny, CEO); Peggy Holm, USA Gymnastics defense counsel; and a representative of the insurance carrier. …

read the full statement

To me and to everyone I’ve talked to that agreement looks like hush money.

USAG needs show evidence that the FBI directed them to stay silent. Otherwise a payoff to one athlete — especially if at cost to other victims after that payoff — is a cover-up.

mainstream media world-wide covering Nassar

Gymnastics is in the headlines everywhere.

How many parents in future are going to avoid the sport for their children, … just in case?  🙁

On the up side, children who do participate in Gymnastics should be safer. Education programs will be emphasizing coaching ethics and child safety.

The rule of two. (Or Three.) Here’s the Coaching Association of Canada version:

…  calls for at least two screened and National Coaching Certification Program-certified coaches to be present with an athlete, especially a minor athlete, when the athletes is in a potentially vulnerable situation.

Of course some of the mainstream media doesn’t understand Gymnastics. But they do understand headlines.

I messaged Dr. JONATHAN LAPOOK of CBS NEWS yesterday explaining they had the headline wrong. Nassar was a doctor, never a coach.

They still hadn’t fixed their mistake as of today. No response from Lapook.

Aly Raisman says USAG does not care

Click PLAY or watch her interview on Twitter.

One positive note, USAG President Kerry Perry attended the Nassar sentencing today.