University of Michigan fires gymnastics consultant believed to have known about Nassar

Outrage shared on social media

Rhonda Faehn.
Rhonda Faehn.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Rhonda Faehn was the first official at USA Gymnastics to learn of Larry Nassar's abuse of athletes, she was never charged of a crime.

The University of Michigan announced that Faehn had been hired as a gymnastics consultant and the public outcry was loud and swift. Just 24 hours after the announcement, the school announced that Faehn was out of a job.


Faehn is a former senior vice president of USA Gymnastics and is believed to have been among the first to know about Nassar's sexual abuse of gymnasts while he was the organization's national team physician.

Nassar plead guilty to sexually assaulting young athletes including some girls under the age of 13. He admitted, in court, that he sexually assaulted the girls for his own pleasure without any medical grounds.

He was given a 40 to 175-year sentence in Ingahm County and a 40 to 175-year sentence in Eaton County. Nassar was also given a 60-year federal sentence for child pornography crimes.

Faehn voluntarily testified before Congress that she had passed reports of Nassar's abuse to her boss and believed that her boss had acted on them. She was asked to resign from her position last May.

Faehn hadn't been seen until this past weekend at a University of Michigan gymnastics meet, and word began to spread online that she attended. That forced the school to officially announce her hiring Saturday afternoon as a coaching consultant.

Outrage continued to mount, including a tweet from Nassar survivor Rachael Denhollander saying it was Faehn's failure to report that led to more abuse.

Less than three hours later, Michigan fired her after just three days on the job with a statement from athletic director Warde Manuel that reads in part:

"I have come to the conclusion that this is not the best interest of the University of Michigan, and our athletic program to continue the consulting contract with Rhonda Faehn. It was the wrong decision and I apologize."

Some current and former members of the University of Michigan gymanstics team say they were looking forward to working with Faehn and were disappointed she was fired so quickly.

About the Authors: