University of Michigan fires coach with ties to Nassar scandal

Published: Jan. 14, 2019 at 4:07 AM EST
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The University of Michigan is apologizing for hiring Rhonda Faehn after news of her recent hiring drew immediate backlash.

Athletic director Warde Manuel released a statement last night saying hiring Faehn was the wrong decision.

"I have come to the conclusion that it is not in the best interest of the University of Michigan and our athletic program to continue the consulting contract with Rhonda Faehn," said Warde Manuel, the university's Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "It was the wrong decision, and I apologize. Our student-athletes are our highest priority and I want to do everything in my power to support them fully and put the focus back on their athletic performance."

The university hired her Thursday as a coaching consultant, but didn't announce the hire until Saturday.

This drew fierce criticism from Michigan alumni, some members of its board of regents, and survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse.

Faehn was the former Vice President of USA Gymnastics.

She's believed to be the first USAG official told of Nassar's abuse.

Faehn, former USAG President Steve Penny, and former MSU President Lou Anna Simon testified before Congress about Nassar last June.

During that testimony, Faehn said she was told about Nassar abusing other gymnasts by another coach in the summer of 2015.

She claimed she reported that complaint to Penny at the time but did not report it to police.

Penny waited more than a month to inform the FBI about the complaints.

Nassar treated patients for more than a year before he was eventually arrested.

Faehn was fired by USAG last May.

Faehn is the second employee to leave Michigan's gymnastics staff in recent months.

Assistant coach Scott Vetere resigned in October after he was charged with having sex with a member of the gymnastics team in a parking lot near the university's campus.

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