Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Mar. 10, 2017 — Might the USA Gymnastics scandal have a nuclear option?

This afternoon, the governing board of USA Gymnastics is meeting to determine whether they should demand the resignation of Steve Penny, the president of the national governing body of the sport.

At the same time, however, there is now pressure from the United States Olympic Committee and from defendants in multiple lawsuits in the matter of former team doctor Larry Nasser. Indeed, John Manly, a lawyer representing some 70 plaintiffs against Nasser, yesterday called on the USOC to decertify USA Gymnastics.

That is, to strip the current organization of the power to organize the sport and its various competitions in this country.

This “nuclear option” has been threatened before in the current reign of USOC chairman Scott Blackmun. It was used to compel USA Track & Field to shrink or get rid of some of its committees and bureaurcracy a few years ago.

But for the USOC to go after a sport which has a pretty high profile and success rate on the international level? This is, to me, unheard of.

And it should leave other national governing bodies looking over their shoulders. After all, gymnastics is not the only sport heavily marketed towards young females whose lone aspiration is to be in an Olympics, and they and their parents don’t see the fact that there is little to no international competition for them after their careers are over.

I am, frankly, surprised that there hasn’t been more of an attempt by USA Gymnastics and its sponsors to create a professional circuit for artistic or rhythmic gymnastics.

Which makes you wonder where all the money is going.


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