THE BIG PICTURE: Process to de-certify USA Gymnastics will take time

When U.S. Olympic Committee chief executive Sarah Hirshland began the process of de-certification of USA Gymnastics as the National Governing Body for the sport, she noted the possibility of that organization relinquishing its status voluntarily. Well, that didn’t happen and in a letter released on Wednesday, Hirshland wrote:

“We received USAG’s response to our complaint on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. In that letter they did not choose to relinquish recognition as an NGB and instead asked a series of questions that relate to the matter and the Section 8 hearing process. Thus, in addition to working with USAG on their questions, we will ensure that the Section 8 process goes forward without delay.

“As I described in my last note to you, the next step in the Section 8 process is for me to select an independent, three-person hearing panel with representatives from the USOC board of directors, the NGB Council and the Athletes’ Advisory Council. The panel will next review my complaint and USAG’s response, hold a hearing, create a report and recommendation for the full USOC board and then the board will take an action.”

Her note added that the process will take several weeks to several months. Also:

“It is important to note that during this process – and per our bylaws – USAG will continue to operate as a fully recognized member NGB of the USOC. We are not shutting down USAG. Nor is the USOC taking over USAG. In the immediate term there are no changes for USAG members or clubs.

“Upon conclusion of the process described above, should USAG lose recognition, its future would be decided by the USAG board of directors.”

So, stay tuned. This isn’t going to be quick or easy.