Game Over: Commission to Protect Youth Athletes
Leading Experts Conduct Independent Investigation of the USA Gymnastics - Larry Nassar Scandal to Ensure It Never Happens Again
The Game Over: Commission to Protect Youth Athletes
Led by Marci Hamilton, CEO of CHILD USA and Fox Professor of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, is composed of 16 members, all of whom are experts in the field, and is engaged in fact-finding and investigation of all responsible institutions and individuals making it possible for Larry Nasser to abuse hundreds of gymnasts. The Commission will investigate Larry Nassar's abuse, hold public hearings, issue a Report on stopping child abuse, and is building a database that will eventually be made available to the public.
Commission Comprised of National Experts in Child Sex Abuse, Law Enforcement, Academia, Trauma, Sports and Investigative Journalism
The sex abuse investigation centered around Dr. Larry Nassar, team doctor for USA Gymnastics (USAG) and Michigan State University (MSU), is one of the most complex in modern history, involving many institutions, coaches, and adults—all of whom failed to appropriately protect hundreds of children from sex abuse. A total of 156 women and girls testified against Larry Nassar at his 2017-18 criminal trial, but 265 have come forward so far. Experts believe there are likely more.
This independent commission is investigating all aspects of the systems that enabled Larry Nassar's abuse, and will examine how they failed, reach conclusions, and issue recommendations to stop child sex abuse in the future. It is composed of the leading experts in the field of child sex abuse from the medical, social science, legal, and public policy arenas, each of whom is donating their time pro bono to the project.
Key components of the commission include:
Fact-Finding, Data Collection
Creation of Publicly Available, Searchable Database of All Information
Legal and Policy Review by Legal Experts in the United States
Public Participation and Transparency
Upon completion of the fact finding, data collection, and public hearings, the commission will compose and release its findings to the public and policymakers. All materials gathered and testimony obtained will be archived and made available to the public.
IN THE NEWS
Eugene sports psychologist Steven Ungerleider already had been researching cases of young athletes who were victims of sexual assault by coaches and trainers when the Larry Nassar case exploded into the public view.
Nassar, former U.S. gymnastics team doctor, pleaded guilty in 2017 of molesting gymnasts as young as 13 while treating them medically.
The project took off once Nassar’s victims began coming forward. Suddenly, Ungerleider and fellow researcher David Ulich had something bigger on their hands.
"The Michigan House and Senate are both behind a package of bills designed to improve how our state handles child abuse and prevent another sexual abuse scandal like the one involving Larry Nassar.
However, the two chambers disagree on what changes need to happen.
One major theme we saw with the Nassar case is that women were telling coaches and trainers about Nassar’s questionable treatments and majority of the time, nothing was done about it."
A. Ilitch | March 31, 2018
"Larry Nassar, the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics, and former USA Gymnastics trainer Deborah Van Horn were indicted in Texas Friday on charges of sexual assault of a child at the Karolyi Ranch, where for decades numerous Olympians have trained.
Walker County prosecutors' did not file any charges against training center owners and famed gymnastic coaches Martha and Bela Karolyi -- a decision blasted by a lawyer representing gymnasts sexually abused by Nassar."
R. Ellis | June 29, 2018
Marci A. Hamilton, Robert A. Fox Leadership Program Professor of Practice, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Steven Ungerleider, Author; Psychologist; Executive board of INTERNATIONAL PARALYMPIC Committee; 2 time Emmy nominee
Steven Berkowitz, MD, Associate Professor, Clinical Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine; Director, Penn Center for Youth and Family Trauma Response and Recovery
Pat Ciarrocchi, former CBS3 Philadelphia news anchor who has covered the sex abuse crisis in depth
Sharon Cooper, MD, CEO, Developmental and Forensic Pediatrics, P.A.
David Corwin, MD, Professor and Director of Forensic Services, Pediatrics Department, University of Utah
James Carpenter, Esq., Former Chief, Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, Philadelphia D.A. Office
Melissa Jampol, Esq., Member, Epstein Becker Green; Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, New Jersey
Kathleen Faller, MSW, Professor Emerita of Children and Families in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan; Director, Family Assessment Clinic; Principal Investigator on the University of Michigan site of National Child Welfare Workforce Institute
Teresa Huizar, Executive Director, National Children’s Alliance
Jennie Noll, PhD, Professor for Healthy Children, Dept. of Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State; Director, Child Maltreatment Solutions Network
Daniel Pollack, MSW, JD, Professor at Yeshiva University’s School of Social Work and a frequent expert witness in child welfare lawsuits
Monica Rowland, Former President, Athletes Advisory Council to the US Olympic Committee, Pentathlon Coach
Philip Scribano, DO, MSCE, Director of Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; program director of the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship Program
Joyanna Silberg, PhD, Senior Child Trauma Consultant, Sheppard Pratt Health System; Owner, Childhood Recovery Resources; President, Leadership Council on Child Abuse & Interpersonal Violence
James R. Marsh, Esq., Founder, Children’s Law Center (Washington D.C.)
Nancy Hogshead Makar, J.D., Chair
Lynne Abraham, former Philadelphia District Attorney, Archer
Dean Colson, Esq., Colson Hicks Eidson
Jane Eisner, journalist, EIC, The Forward
Timothy Evans, journalist, Indy Star
Prof. Richard Gelles, University of Pennsylvania
Thomas Kline, Esq., Kline & Specter PC
Thomas Lyon, Esq., USC School of Law
Paul Mones, Esq.
Abbie Newman, R.N. J.D., CEO of Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center
David Ulich, Esq., Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP
Ali Boren, Esq. Executive Director, CHILD USA
Courtney Kiehl, Esq. CHILD USA Fellow and former elite gymnast
Fox Leadership Program Fellows, University of Pennsylvania
Toll Public Interest Center Interns, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
CHILD USA Interns