Michigan State University parted ways with their longtime women’s gymnastics coach Kathie Klages after the inquiry into her response to sexual abuse by gymnastics trainer Larry Nassar. However, despite the dismissal, one Lansing gym owner seems to think Klages still belongs in the gym. Klages has been filling in at Twistars Gymnastics Club. John Geddert owns the gym. Though some say Klages is only with Twistars temporarily, the move to bring Klages in contact with gymnasts is raising eyebrows as some say she didn’t do enough to respond to warning signs and complaints about Nassar’s abuse of gymnasts.
Geddert admitted that Klages worked at the gym. He claims it was only “filling in” for a “a couple days.” Klages says that she’s not an employee of the gym. Gym owners said that they asked Klages to fill in because of a staffing shortage.
Klages resigned her position as the head gymnastics coach at Michigan State University in February, 2017. Accusers say that Klages downplayed accusations of misconduct against Nassar. Accusers say that Klages told victims that Nassar’s abuse was medical treatment. They say that Klages also told a victim not to file a formal complaint. The victim was a teenager.
Under Klages’ supervision, Nassar worked for the Michigan State University gymnastics team as the team doctor. Nassar also worked as the team doctor for the U.S. national gymnastics team. 2012 Olympian Jordyn Wieber trained at Twistars under Geddert’s coaching.
Legal fees for Michigan State University because of Nassar’s actions have now topped $2 million. MSU President Lou Anna Simon believes that the charges are necessary. Both criminal charges and civil litigation remain pending in the courts. Simon says that the university isn’t tapping their endowment to fund the defense. Individual attorneys on the case charge as much as $990 per hour.
Nassar’s accusers at Michigan State University were collegiate athletes from a variety of sports. The victims claim that when they voiced their concerns to trainers and other school representatives, they told the victims that Nassar’s actions were legitimate medical treatment. One victim even said that MSU employees told her that she should be grateful to work with Nassar.
In total, victims name MSU in nine different lawsuits in federal courts. More than 140 victims total have come forward against Nassar. They claim that abuse occurred at MSU, at the U.S. national gymnastics training center near Houston, Texas and at other locations. Because of the allegations, former president of USA Gymnastics Steve Penny resigned his position.