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USAG laws change after Larry Nassar case

Hannah Young, Writer

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Five months after the conviction of Larry Nassar for sexual harassment underneath MSU (Michigan State University) and USAG (United States of America Gymnastics), a recent law has been established at USAG gyms to prevent harassments in the future. Along with having a law-changing impact, Larry Nassar’s sexual harassment case has changed the perspective of relations between coaches and gymnasts.

“From what I’ve heard around my gym (a USAG gym in Hartland), coaches older than 18 are not allowed to be around their students outside of the gym alone,”  junior Reagan Wilson said.

Gymnasts like sophomore Morgan Smith are bothered with the USAG and how it let the Larry Nassar case go on for so long.

“I personally feel upset that USAG did not address the situation sooner and let these young girls get abused like this,” Smith said. “They (the parents and others such as gymnasts) are most likely angry that lots of parents and children trusted Nassar because he was in a higher position that holds lots of trust, that he took advantage of.”

USAG gyms are now becoming stricter with coaches and students interacting with each other, which affects families and other gym members.

“A lot of people (who work out at my gym) babysit for kids who are students at the gym,” Wilson said. “A lot of families work there and a lot of people are friends with parents so they can’t babysit their friend’s kids. I understand after everything that happened with Larry Nassar so I understand where the laws are coming from, but at least for the people at my gym, I think there should be differences.”

The laws, which signify that coaches older than 18 are not allowed to be with their students outside of the gym alone, were put into place by the USAG give the future of gymnastics a safer alternative to training with coaches.

“I would want to make sure that this situation doesn’t happen again in our society and do as much as I could to help prevent it,” Smith said. “I think that now that everyone is aware of what could happen they are being more serious and taking responsibility in what could happen.”

Laws implanted, which prohibit athletes from being with coaches who are over 18 years of age, give the gyms a safer area for coaches and students to cohere in the setting. This also prevent a case such as Larry Nassar’s from happening again.

I think it definitely helps prevent those cases,” Smith said. “But also it can be upsetting to coaches who just want to do fun activities with their team that aren’t harmful to the gymnasts. More requirements and a certification could help prevent this in the future.”

Locally the case has affected gymnasts and parents who feel they may not be safe with coaches or doctors. Gymnasts such as Morgan Smith feel angry with how the case was hidden and prolonged with the USAG.

Laws are now used to make the gym safer for its gymnasts and trainees. The USAG uses the new laws to make the future of training with coaches and students safer and alternative.


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