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

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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 of all responsible institutions and individuals making it possible for Larry Nasser to abuse hundreds of gymnasts.  The Commission will hold public hearings, issue a Report, 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 scandal 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 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 the abuse, and will examine how they failed, reach conclusions, and issue recommendations to prevent 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

Expert weighs in on House changes to Nassar inspired bills

"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

Nassar and former USA Gymnastics trainer indicted for alleged sexual abuse at Karolyi Ranch in Texas

"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

Chair:

Marci A. Hamilton, Robert A. Fox Leadership Program Professor of Practice, University of Pennsylvania

Commissioners:

Steven Ungerleider, PhD, co-founder of the Foundation for Global Sports Development

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., former Assistant US 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.)

 

Advisory Committee:

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

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (invited)

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

 

Staff: 

Ali Boren, Esq. Executive Director, CHILD USA

Courtney Kiehl, 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