Former UF coach Faehn out at USA Gymnastics amid fallout from Nassar scandal

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USA Gymnastics has parted ways with Rhonda Faehn, who has come under fire recently from victims of a former national team doctor now serving decades in prison for abusing athletes, the organization announced in a statement, Friday, May 18, 2018. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
INDIANAPOLIS — USA Gymnastics has parted ways with senior vice president Rhonda Faehn, who has come under fire recently from victims of a former national team doctor now serving decades in prison for abusing athletes.

The organization announced in a statement Friday that Faehn “is no longer with USA Gymnastics.”

Faehn, a former US national team member in the 1980s who later won three titles as head coach at the University of Florida, joined USA Gymnastics in 2015 and oversaw the women’s elite program. Shortly after taking over she was alerted to potential abuse concerns about Larry Nassar, a longtime team physician. Faehn passed along the concerns to then USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny.

The organization then 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.

Nassar, 54, pleaded guilty to molesting women and girls under the guise of treatment and was caught with child pornography. He is serving three prison sentences that will likely keep him locked up for life.

Michigan State reached a $500 million settlement this week 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.

USA Gymnastics has undergone a significant overhaul in the aftermath of Nassar’s behavior. Kerry Perry took over as president last December and the entire board of directors was removed at the request of the United States Olympic Committee.

Aly Raisman, a six-time Olympic medalist, raised concerns recentlyabout Faehn’s role in the matter. Raisman said she wasn’t sure why Faehn did not go to authorities herself.

In a statement, Perry did not elaborate on Faehn’s departure and instead focused on trying to move the embattled organization forward.

“We recognize that change can be difficult, but we will not be deterred from making necessary and bold decisions to transform our organization,” Perry said in a statement. “At USA Gymnastics, we are focused every day on creating a highly empowered culture that puts our athletes first.

13 COMMENTS

    • No that doesn’t sound like what some other coach did if you’re referring to Joe Paterno. He turned a blind eye to the situation, “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” You need to actually read the entire court case and the fact Joe was found to be more than negligent.

    • I haven’t followed this scandal closely. Looks like Fahen informed her supervisor and then the organization investigated, removed offender, and informed authorities. That’s a LOT more then Patreno did and it sounds like a reasonable course of action (depending on Fahen’s lvl of knowledge and the complaint she received). It kinda seems like she simply picked up that position at the wrong time.

      Correct me if my hot taek is wrong.

  1. I know, before anyone points it out, that I’m just an ignorant redneck but I don’t see where she did anything wrong. The abuses seems to have occurred before she joined USA Gymnastics. She received information about possible abuses and passed them on to her superior administrator. It seems to me that she’s just a fall guy/woman/person for others that didn’t do anything to stop the abuses for many years. I don’t know Coach Faehn. I’ve never met her and gymnastics is not a sport I follow avidly. I see no reason why she should lose her job.

  2. I had a feeling that this was going to happen. Several of the gymnasts stated that they confided in a female member of the administration believing that she would alert the authorities and it was pretty easy to figure out who they were referring to.
    It’s a shame in a way that she got caught up in this but she clearly has nobody to blame but herself.
    It is also a shame that we cannot get her back since the program will struggle ever duplicate the success she enjoyed at UF.
    A very bad situation in every way.

  3. she had only been on the job for a few weeks – and although I am a supporter of Papa Joe this case does NOT have any similarity – Coach Faehn is being made a scapegoat and she was only on the job literally for a few weeks certainly NOT enough time to become immersed in all the machinations of her new job much less one of the largest and disgusting scandals in gymnastics history – Hope she can find her way back to Gainesville or Auburn – hang in there Rhonda – cream rises to the top