Dec 5, 2018, 5:54 PM ET

USA Gymnastics files for bankruptcy protection as fallout from Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal continues

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Reeling from lawsuits over the serial sexual abuse perpetrated on athletes by former Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar, USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday.

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The organization filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Indianapolis, Indiana, according to court records.

"The filing enables us to expedite an equitable resolution of the claims made by the survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by Larry Nassar," USA Gymnastics said in a statement released Wednesday.

The USAG officials emphasized that claims made against the organization by Nassar's victims are covered by insurance and will not be affected by the bankruptcy action.

PHOTO: Larry Nassar sits in the court room during victim statements of his second sentencing in the Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Michigan, Jan. 31, 2018. Rebecca Cook/Reuters, FILE
Larry Nassar sits in the court room during victim statements of his second sentencing in the Eaton County Circuit Court in Charlotte, Michigan, Jan. 31, 2018.

"We owe it to the survivors to resolve, fully and finally, claims based on the horrific acts of the past and, through this process, seek to expedite resolution and help them move forward," said Kathryn Carson, the recently-elected chair of the USAG's board of directors. “Our sport is safer and stronger thanks to the bravery of these women. The Chapter 11 filing and the expedited resolution of these claims are critical first steps in rebuilding the community’s trust."

The move comes as the organization continues to search for a new chief executive officer.

PHOTO: Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina addresses Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Mich., Jan. 18, 2018. Brendan McDermid/Reuters, FILE
Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina addresses Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in November 2017 to sexual assault charges, during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Mich., Jan. 18, 2018.

"We hope to have this position filled in early 2019," the USAG statement says. "We’re looking for someone with experience and leadership skills to build a leadership team that will help all of us to continue to restore faith and confidence in USA Gymnastics, and to set and execute a clear vision for a successful future."

PHOTO: Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in Nov. 2017 to sexual assault charges, is escorted into the courtroom during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Mich., Jan. 24, 2018.Brendan McDermid/Reuters, FILE
Larry Nassar, a former team USA Gymnastics doctor who pleaded guilty in Nov. 2017 to sexual assault charges, is escorted into the courtroom during his sentencing hearing in Lansing, Mich., Jan. 24, 2018.

Nassar, who also worked for decades as a sports physician at Michigan State University, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting numerous athletes under the guise of medical treatment. In January, a Michigan judge sentenced him to more than 175 years in prison, calling Nassar's choice to assault scores of girls and women, under the pretense that he was treating them, "precise, calculated, manipulative, devious and despicable."

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  • cvryder2000

    Trying to get out of paying damages, methinks.........

  • John Rettinger

    Universities should not be in the for-profit business of sports. They develop debts, tax liabilities, commitments to television sports networks, and foreign investors. Gymnastics remains an exercise for amateurs on campus.

  • ShawnLetwin

    Typically bankruptcy is used to protect a company from their creditors because they don't have enough money to pay all of their bills. The company gets X debt written off as they reorganize themselves to be fiscally sustainable.

    The article states that the abuse claims are covered by their insurance companies...so why the need for bankruptcy protection against their creditors?

  • Sundown

    I wish the survivors recovery, wonderful lives, gigantic buttloads of money and victory against evil. The survivors are national heroes for coming forward.

    I'm delighted to hear Nassar will die in prison for his sick crimes. The university and US Gymnastics deserve all this for having not protected these children. I don't give a flip what happens to these crooked and sick organizations that turned the other way when children were abused. May both corporations' executive board officers never work again and panhandle on the streets. After they have watched thousands of videos of the testimonies, plights and lifelong damage endured by children who have been assaulted. And the executives need to watch the videos every day for a year. Then the retched poverty, homeless and lifelong societal shame.
    Nah, that never happens to rich people.

  • 𝓜𝓾𝓭𝓭𝔂 𝓡𝓸𝓪𝓭

    USA Gymnastics filed for bankruptcy...in order to duck responsibility, restitution and accountability.

    Any of the execs who knew about this ought to be bunkies with Nassar. That's the right thing to do.

  • Tom

    Sorry, not sorry.