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.
UPDATE ON NASSAR SCANDAL AS OF 6/30/19
June 27, 2019 – Alcatraz Crime Museum announces Larry Nassar Exhibit
June 25, 2019 – Claims against an MSU professor state that he sexually harassed women over nearly two decades
June 22, 2019 – New CEO of USOC discusses ways she will earn back the trust of American athletes
June 21, 2019 – MSU board hires firm to conduct independent investigation of Nassar situation
June 19, 2019 – USAG releases new Safe Sport policy
June 19, 2019 – Bill clears MI House that would make trainers, physical therapists mandatory reporters
June 17, 2019 – CO representative proposes legislation that could lead to a fundamental overhaul of the USOC and other organizations that oversee Olympic sports in the US
June 17, 2019 – Judge that sentenced Nassar and a group of Olympians are backing an effort to create a commission to look into the operations of the USOC
June 17, 2019 – MSU awarded 2019 “Golden Padlock” at the annual conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors
June 13, 2019 – Former Olympian Terin Humphrey fired by USAG from her position as an athlete representative after posting a controversial meme
June 12, 2019 – Nassar’s former boss, Strampel, convicted of “Misconduct in Office”, he faces as much as 15 years in prison
June 11, 2019 – Michigan legislators to introduce 2 bills “born” out of Larry Nassar scandal
June 7, 2019 - Provost who oversaw former MSU Dean Strampel, was aware of complaints against him but recommended he stay on after confronting him about alleged behavior.
June 6, 2019 – Strampel case moves to discussion of Nassar. After 2014 Title IX investigation cleared Nassar he agreed to three requirements in order to continue seeing patients; have someone else in the room, use gloves, and get informed consent before invasive procedures. Strampel never followed up to make sure Nassar was actually following through.
June 4, 2019 – Parkettes gymnastics coach , Holman, in Allentown, PA suspended by SafeSport
June 3, 2019 – A review of whether the new Safe Sport Policy will make athletes safer, includes input from Sarah Klein, Nancy Hogshead-Makar, and Katie Hanna
June 3, 2019 – VT removes statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims, spurred into action by an address at the state house by Rachael Denhollander
May 31, 2019 – Conversation with new MSU president Samuel Stanley on his plans for MSU
May 31, 2019 – Former MSU Dean Strampel’s first day of trial, victim testifies that he let Dr. Nassar return to work after a Title IX complaint filed against him
May 31, 2019 – USA Badminton CEO resigns over dispute with USOC over financial transparency and athlete safety
31 May, 2019 – In Strampel’s trial, an MSU student discussed Strampel’s attitude in “favor for favor” and his lack of oversight when receiving allegations about Nassar.
28 May, 2019 – Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. is named the new president of MSU.
27 May, 2019 – The Justice Department’s inspector general is looking into the FBI’s mishandling of sex abuse allegations regarding Nassar.
22 May, 2019 – Terin Humphrey removed from her position at USAG.
20 May, 2019 – Ohio governor orders probe of medical review board in light of Dr. Strauss’ abuse.
20 May, 2019 - Nevada judge to mediate USAGs’ Nassar abuse claims.
18 May, 2019 – Ohio State University ignored 2 decades of allegations against Strauss.
18 May, 2019 – Former Ohio State team doctor, Dr. Richard Strauss, abused at least 177 students.
17 May, 2019 – Griffin reintroduces sexual assault bill in Michigan, this time with the hopes it will pass.
17 May, 2019 – MSU is readjusting how it handles student wellness and health in light of the Nassar scandal, may be putting more financial burden onto the students.
17 May, 2019 – Victims want an investigation into MSU to see if they deprived the second wave of Nassar victims purposely when they created the victims settlement fund.
15 May, 2019 – USAG faces more than $1 billion in claims.
May 15, 2019 – MSU sends out survey to alumni community to find out their opinion of how they have handled the Nassar situation.
May 14, 2019 – Arrest warrants issued for defrauding Nassar victim’s fund.
May 13, 2019 – 3 gymnasts who accused Larry Nassar of sexual assault, testify in Texas for a bill to extend the civil statute of limitations.
13 May, 2019 – Klages trial is set for July 8.
May 11, 2019 – Nassar’s attempt to appeal his case on the basis of judicial bias was turned down.
May 7, 2019 – USAG is suing insurance companies for refusing to pay their legal costs.
May 7, 2019 – USAG was aware of allegations against Nyman’s wife’s gym since 2017.
May 7, 2019 – USOC CEO discusses struggles of the organization after the Nassar Scandal.
May 7, 2019 – Two Canadian track coaches have been banned by Athletics Canada for alleged sexual assault of a number of athletes over several decades.
May 6, 2019 – A bill in MA is being considered that would punish doctors for abusing patients. It addresses that even if a patient consents to be touched by a doctor for treatment, if they are lied to about what is needed for that treatment the doctor will be able to be punished. This a change from a previous practice.
May 6, 2019 - Interview with Li Li Leung answering questions about the controversies she has dealt with so far as the newest CEO of USAG and where she thinks the future of USAG will go.
May 4, 2019 – Congressman Upton is backing the ALERT act. This act would require university leaders to certify they have reviewed any reports of sexual abuse done by a university employee every year.
May 3, 2019 – Premier of HBO’s “At the Heart of Gold” documentary.
May 2, 2019 – A Nassar inspired bill is moving through the MI state legislature again. It is aimed at strengthening rules for health care workers performing penetrative medical examinations.
May 1, 2019 – New USAG sports medicine director leaves after one day due to “conflict of interests” and that it was not due to social media outrage.
April 30, 2019 – article published about how Nassar was one of many coaches/doctors who abused gymnasts within USAG
April 30, 2019 – Lawsuit claims that USOC lied about sexual assaults of athletes when applying for insurance with the Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company.
April 24, 2019 – USAG new president apologizes for insensitive comments about Larry Nassar “The reason why I wasn't abused by him is because my coach was by my side when he saw me. I was seen by him in a public setting.”
April 24, 2019 – Settlements talks stall between MSU and the second wave of survivors. The second wave settlements will be much smaller than the first wave due to the university not being bound by the same suit.
April 24, 2019 - USOC is threatening decertification of USAG however, no one else is stepping forward to take their place in the sport. They plan to wait until bankruptcy proceedings are finished before fully deciding what to do.
April 22, 2019 – In an interview, MSU interim president Satish Udpa stated that he will not give over sensitive document to the Attorney General’s office. He also stated that he would consider creating a new healing fund for victims to replace the one that was closed by Engler in December.
April 17, 2019 – “Believed” Podcast honored with a Scripps Howard award
April 15, 2019 – MSU exhibit “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak” opens to honor survivors of Larry Nassar
April 12, 2019 – William Strampel, the former dean of MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been charged with a count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. This was changed from the previous charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Strampel has been given access to MSU emails for his case. Judge also granted admittance of evidence of five photos of scantily clad women on Strampel’s computer.
April 12, 2019 – Nassar survivors confronted MSU at trustee meeting. Many are accusing MSU of having a confrontational attitude with them and only saying certain things for the media and not treating them appropriately including, reimbursement for counseling and treatment for survivors. This was the first trustee meeting held since the MSU student spoke out about being encouraged by the university to stay silent after she was raped by MSU basketball players.
April 11, 2019 – DeVos is being urged to meet with Nassar survivors as she looks to make changes to Title IX that would go in the opposite direction of that needed to combat sexual assault.
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. Director of Legal, CHILD USA
Courtney Kiehl, Esq. CHILD USA Fellow and former elite gymnast
Project Manager: Jillian Ruck
Fox Leadership Program Fellows, University of Pennsylvania
Toll Public Interest Center Interns, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
CHILD USA Interns