U. of Michigan Rescinds Hire of USA Gymnastics Coach

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The University of Michigan has rescinded an offer it made to a USA Gymnastics coach who also has ties to the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. 

According to The Detroit News, UM announced the hiring of Rhonda Faehn on Saturday. By Sunday night the hiring had been condemned by alumni and the Board of Regents, and Faehn was promptly fired.

"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," wrote athletic director Warde Manuel in a post on the university athletic department website. "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."

Attorney John Manly, who represented some Nassar victims, tweeted Sunday night in response to Faehn's firing: "Good. But why did u [sic] hire her in the first place Mr Manuel? All this information about Ms Faehn was easily available."

Faehn joined UM’s coaching staff three months ago after then assistant gymnastics coach Scott Vetere resigned amid allegations of indecent public conduct.

"Following a comprehensive search process working closely with our administration, I am pleased to add Rhonda Faehn to our staff," head coach Bev Plocki said in the Saturday news release. "I have known and respected Rhonda Faehn for over two decades. Her accomplishments in our sport speak for themselves. Her technical knowledge and experience will greatly benefit our student-athletes." 

Faehn joined USA Gymnastics in 2015 and oversaw the women’s elite program. Shortly after taking over, she was made aware of allegations of abuse by Nassar, which she passed along to USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny. Faehn was removed from USA Gymnastics in May of 2018.

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