Female sportswriters change the course at Utah — Other gym news, including NCAA schedule drops
The IX: Gymnastics Saturday with Lela Moore, Nov. 25, 2023
CW: Mention of suicidal ideation
Tom Farden is out as head gymnastics coach at Utah. I wrote last week about the late-Sunday-night release of the news that he was on administrative leave, with the caveat that I thought more news was coming. Indeed, Farden officially resigned on Tuesday (CW: that linked press release from Utah contains a lot of praise of Farden). That news followed Kara Eaker’s announcement last month that she had left Utah and retired from gymnastics after enduring what she alleged was emotional and verbal abuse so bad that she became suicidal.
Sportswriter Molly Hensley-Clancy of The Washington Post (who along with gymnastics writer Emily Giambalvo published what shall henceforth be known as Tom Farden’s career’s death knell on Monday) posted that it was, indeed, her and Giambalvo’s reporting that led to Farden’s resignation. In their story, Farden’s lawyer stated that Farden planned to sue the women who had publicly accused him of emotional abuse, and also that he had no intention of changing his coaching methods despite, you know, being the alleged perpetrator of emotional abuse. Apparently, that did not go over well with Farden’s employers.
Who run the world? Girls.
Kudos to Eaker, Kim Tessen (who also came forward to back up Eaker with her own stories of enduring Farden’s alleged abuse), Hensley-Clancy, and Giambalvo, as well as the other gymnasts in the WaPo story who discussed their own experiences of abusive coaching in college gymnastics. I hope the article, as well as Eaker’s and Tessen’s examples of bravery, lead to more coaches being scrutinized by their institutions. That the news out of Utah made news well beyond the state and the sport is hopeful; that the WaPo story effected real change at Utah is inspiring. Believing women, it will take you places.
If you or someone you love has thoughts of suicide, call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
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Other gym news
The Gymternet has the results of the 2023 Tournoi International, won by Simone Rose of the United States, with her compatriot Claire Pease taking silver.
College Gym News has a piece on life as an international gymnast in the NCAA, a look into a college gymnast’s daily experiences with NIL, the behind-the-scenes of creating NCAA schedules, sample fantasy gymnastics drafts, and a feature on LSU signee Nina Ballou.
Simone Biles got very, very excited about her husband Jonathan Owens’ touchdown during the Green Bay Packers Thanksgiving victory over the Detroit Lions. Not gonna lie, I also stood up in the middle of my family Thanksgiving to announce that Simone’s husband just scored.
UCLA’s Ana Padarariu will take a year off of NCAA to vie for a spot on the Canadian Olympic team for Paris.
Riley McCusker is in a boot and appears to be out for the season at Florida.
Oklahoma’s gonna Oklahoma their schedule drop:
Five at The IX: NCAA coaches via the All Things Gymnastics podcast
Ashlee and Brittany Buhler of the All Things Gymnastics podcast debuted a series called Coach’s Corner this fall, and they’ve got some big names! Listen to the duo’s interviews with Oklahoma’s KJ Kindler, UCLA’s Janelle McDonald, and Michigan State’s Mike Rowe.
And we’ve all been wondering what LSU is cooking this recruitment season, as they have signed top athlete after top athlete and taken in some incredible transfers to boot. Listen to LSU head coach Jay Clark talk to Ashlee and Brittany about the upcoming season in Baton Rouge, coming Monday, November 29! (If you have Patreon and support the pod, you can listen now.)
|By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
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|By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
|By: Addie Parker, @addie_parker, The IX
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|By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer