“Now that the world has been transfixed by our case, we must make sure not even one more young woman is preyed upon as I was.”
–Rachael Denhollander in The New York Times
Like flies: After the US Olympic Committee threatened decertification if all USA Gymnastics board members did not resign by January 31, USAG has confirmed that it will comply. The USOC, which said in their statement that “USAG’s culture needs a fundamental rebuilding,” also stipulated that USAG must cooperate with the their independent investigation.
Aly Raisman responded to the statement, saying she’s pleased that an independent investigation will occur, but asking for assurance that the investigation will be completely independent and that the findings will be made public.
Feds step in: A House committee will investigate how USA Gymnastics, along with USA Swimming, USA Taekwondo, and Michigan State, have handled sexual abuse complaints. Two senators have asked USAG, USOC, and MSU for more information on how they failed to stop Nassar, and another senator has called for a congressional investigation into USAG and USOC.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has announced that a vote will be held this week on the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act, in response to public pressure.
Ghost town: The Ranch has officially closed after 35 years in operation. The former training facility is still under investigation in Walker County, TX for crimes occurring on the site.
The deal with MSU
Special treatment: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced on Saturday that he has appointed a special prosecutor to provide a top-down investigation of MSU’s handling of sexual abuse cases.
A bigger problem: ESPN’s Outside the Lines investigation found that MSU’s problem goes far beyond Larry Nassar, and found a “pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression,” particularly in the school’s basketball and football programs.
Feds step in: On Thursday, Lansing lawmakers called for legislation to prevent ignoring sexual abuse complaints, and Michigan Senator Gary Peters called for Congress to get involved and for MSU to commission an independent investigation. State lawmakers also want MSU’s records regarding Nassar, and the governor might take action against the MSU board.
- Mark Hollis, MSU’s athletic director, resigned on Friday.
- NCAA president Mark Emmert was alerted to 37 reports of sexual assault at MSU in 2010. Emmert has defended himself, saying the cases referenced were already being investigated.
- MSU’s board members apologized to survivors, saying “we failed you.”
- Findings from the 2014 investigation of Larry Nassar were not shared with survivor Amanda Thomashow, who reported the assault.
- MSU students wore teal to the school’s basketball game on Friday, and hundreds rallied on campus, to support survivors. Also see: the Rock.
What’s next for Nassar: He will be sentenced in Eaton County on Wednesday, and more than 150 civil suits have been filed against him and the orgs he worked for.
- The Gymternet editor-in-chief Lauren Hopkins’ reactions to Nassar’s sentencing.
- Charles Pierce says Nassar’s enablers need to go down with him. He’s right, but maybe don’t say gymnastics isn’t a sport (Sports Illustrated).
- Gina Scaramella says the lesson here is clear: Listen to survivors (Boston Globe).
- Lauren Green says orgs’ reactions to the Nassar case have all been too little, too late (Sports Illustrated).
- Will Hobson outlines the many times Nassar could (and should) have been stopped (The Washington Post).
Your mom goes to college: Here are recaps of the weekend’s meets.
Dance magic dance: Congrats to the only aunt you feel like you can talk to Miss Val on her 500th win with UCLA! Though it’s unclear how she gets anything done.
#TimesUp: Famous people Chrissy Teigen and John Legend donated $200k to Time’s Up on behalf of US gymnasts, presumably because it’s just the right thing to do right now.
Facepalm: Dominique Moceanu and Shannon Miller had an…exchange on Twitter. Remember, kids, all that matters is who said it first.
Jamaican me confused: Danusia Francis of Jamaica is going after RTs to get a spot at the Commonwealth Games. Unclear how that works, exactly, but I’m on board.
One okay dude: Mr. Rachael Denhollander is right, as usual, and deserves a follow.
Get real: Supreme Allied Commander Aly Raisman is an Aerie Role Model, though my invitation to her underwear party was mysteriously lost in the mail.
Preach: Katelyn Ohashi wrote a poem to raise awareness of sexual assault and read it aloud, like a champ.
Defending the sport: Two-time Olympian John Orozco says our sport will not be defined by “evil org” USAG.
Need to know
The American Cup field has been announced. The competition will be held on March 3 at the grand ballroom of the Comfort Inn off highway exit 134. Sponsored by the pawn shop next door, dim lighting at the comp means every routine gets a 15.366, and the first 50 kids will get free salt packets for use on cuts and scrapes.
There’s a lot of news, and that means some things didn’t make the cut. Is there something you saw that you’re enraged didn’t make it in? Let me know.
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