Notre Dame's athletic director Jack Swarbrick advised USA Gymnastics on its sexual abuse policy prior to taking the Notre Dame position.

By Charlotte Carroll
February 05, 2018

Notre Dame's athletic director Jack Swarbrick advised USA Gymnastics on its sexual abuse policy prior to taking the Notre Dame position, reports the IndyStar

Two former USA Gymnastics presidents cited Swarbrick as one of the key advisors to the organization on policies related to sexual assault. 

Swarbrick declined to answer specific questions from the IndyStar, but did discuss his general role. Swarbrick became Notre Dame's athletic director in 2008 and the IndyStar reported he said he was in and out of working with USA Gymnastics from 1984 to 2008. His former firm represented the organization. 

According to the IndyStar, Mike Jacko was USA Gymnastics president from 1983 to 1994 and said Swarbrick discouraged a booklet on child abuse being distributed to members of the organization in 1988. Steve Penny who was president from 2005 to 2017 said Swarbrick was the organization's legal counsel and said sexual abuse issues were "managed by (USA Gymasntic's) attorney." But the IndyStar reported that the USA Gymnastics board is responsible for setting policy.

While Swarbrick told the IndyStar that he doesn't have "much recollection" from 1984 to 1996 (the period he said he was most active in USA Gymnastics), the two presidents seemed to say otherwise in their respective deposition and interview. Jacki said the two clashed on the extent of disciplining members when it came to sexual abuse. 

The IndyStar's initial 2016 investigation revealed that USA Gymnastics did not report all allegations of sexual abuse to authorities. The IndyStar's reporting led to additional sexual abuse allegations against former team doctor Larry Nassar.

Nearly 200 girls and women gave victim impact statements during Nassar's three sentencing hearings, with some, including Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, detailing the way Nassar abused them.

Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison Monday. He has already been sentenced to 60 years on federal child-pornography charges and up to 175 years on state charges of sexual assault.

Read the full IndyStar story here

 

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