THE BIG PICTURE: USA Gymnastics in trouble again

USA Gymnastics dug itself into a deeper hole with the hiring and firing of Mary Lee Tracy as the Elite Development Coordinator, responsible for working with sub-elite gymnasts in the federation’s development programs.

After the hiring announcement last Tuesday, she was excused on Friday. The statement said “USA Gymnastics has asked Mary Lee Tracy to resign from the elite development coordinator role. We strongly believe in a culture that encourages our athletes and survivors to speak up and make their voices heard. As a representative of the organization, she inappropriately contacted a survivor, who is also a represented plaintiff, in response to that survivor’s public criticism of her. USA Gymnastics decided it would be best to move forward without Ms. Tracy in this role.”

Tracy, a USA Gymnastics Hall of Famer, contacted Larry Nassar victim Aly Raisman after Raisman ripped USA Gymnastics on Twitter for hiring someone who made favorable comments in 2016 about Nassar when his abuse scandal erupted:

“USA Gymnastics has appointed someone who, in my view, supported Nassar, victim-shamed survivors, & has shown no willingness to learn from the past. This is a slap in the face for survivors, & further confirmation that nothing at @USAG has changed. What a profound disappointment!”

Now, new USOC chief Sarah Hirshland issued a Friday evening statement:

“We’ve been following the [USAG] activity and as we close the day I’m afraid I can offer nothing but disappointment. Under the circumstances we feel that the organization is struggling to manage its obligations effectively and it is time to consider making adjustments in the leadership. We are engaging with the USAG board to offer our perspective, and also our assistance, as they manage the situation.”

That puts USAG CEO Kerry Perry, hired last December, on the spot.