Friday, November 27, 2020

MSU's Klages retires amidst Nassar-related allegations

February 14, 2017
Head coach Kathie Klages keeps track of the time during a match against Pittsburgh Saturday at Jenison Field House. The MSU gymnastics team won with a score of 193.875-193.475. Jaclyn McNeal/The State News
Head coach Kathie Klages keeps track of the time during a match against Pittsburgh Saturday at Jenison Field House. The MSU gymnastics team won with a score of 193.875-193.475. Jaclyn McNeal/The State News —
Photo by Jaclyn McNeal | and Jaclyn McNeal The State News

MSU gymnastics head coach Kathie Klages retired amid her suspension from MSU on Feb. 14, MSU spokesperson Jason Cody confirmed via email.

Klages was suspended from her role at MSU on Monday after a Jan. 31 motion alleged she discouraged a gymnast from reporting former MSU employee Larry Nassar's alleged sexual abuse.

In a letter to Klages informing her of her suspension, MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis said Klages' "passionate defense of Dr. Nassar created an emotionally charged environment for the team."

A motion containing new allegations against Klages was filed in Grand Rapids on Feb. 14. It aims to add four new women to a lawsuit against Nassar.

All four women were treated by Nassar at his MSU office. All were minors at the time of their alleged sexual abuse, except a plaintiff identified in the motion as Jane JMSU Doe, who was in her 30s.

This motion, like those filed last week, alleges that Nassar gave his patients "pictures and other trinkets" to win their trust, and engaged his patients in "sexually suggestive conversations."

A plaintiff identified in the motion as Jane IMSU Doe, a participant in Spartan youth gymnastics, alleges that she refused treatment from Nassar, but he held her down and "performed the 'procedure' against (her) will."

When Klages was informed of the incident, she allegedly told Jane IMSU Doe that "there is no reason to bring up Nassar's conduct."

When asked to comment on Klages' retirement, attorney Shirlee Bobryk confirmed that The State News is a student publication and then said, "I choose not to talk to you."

Stay with The State News for updates.

Letter from MSU Director of Athletics Mark Hollis to MSU Gymnastics Head Coach Kathie Klages by The State News on Scribd

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