Former Utah Coach Tom Farden now at Twin City Twisters

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The University of Utah has engaged an outside agency to review its nationally acclaimed gymnastics program after former gymnasts and parents allege head coach Tom Farden verbally and emotionally abused and physically intimidated members of the team.
I remember a few months ago somebody (Sage’s mom perhaps?) in the college gym Facebook group alleging that Tom threw a grip brush at Sage.

The part about not notifying parents of their child’s injury comes across as cold, but maybe it has something to do with FERPA? Or is that strictly for grades/academics?

I wonder if the investigation had begun when they put out this PR piece. Seems like he has a win at all costs mentality, and that has either rubbed off on or amplified a pre-existing mentality in the gymnasts.

The part about not notifying parents of their child’s injury comes across as cold, but maybe it has something to do with FERPA?
Legally parents do not need to be notified as they are adults and over the age of 18.
The same goes with any university action, such as academics, residence life, etc.

When I was an assistant hall director at my university, several students got into an altercation that required disciplinary issues. One parent approached me and demanded to know all information and also discuss how they felt about the situation. I politely informed them that I was unable to share information as their student was 19 years old and an adult. Therefore any information they wished to know needed to come from their child.
@blake medical records are part of HIPPA, which again because they are considered adults at age 18, legally injuries could not be disclosed to parents without the athlete’s consent.
Interesting. I wonder how that works if they are still on their parent’s insurance policies? Like the bills or explanation of benefits letters go somewhere.
That’s surely their parents choice to have them on their insurance (although surely their medical care is covered by the school?). But it wouldn’t give them the right to be informed about injuries, or any other medical treatment by the school (the insurance company might do)
I never did college sports so i don’t know how it is handled. I do know the us’s healthcare system is fucked up. Im not saying colleges should be giving out info, im just curious how it can be “hidden” if the athlete shares insurance with the parent.
It probably can’t be hidden and is probably a condition of remaining on the insurance after 18. Howler There’s no way of knowing who is on parents insurance or not and even if they are, it is not for the school to inform the parents, if the insurance company does, that’s down to them.
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With the caveat that things have likely changed since my interactions with NCAA back in the dark ages: injuries that happened during practice or play/competition were covered by the school’s policy.

Even if personal insurance is being billed, parents wouldn’t see those Explanation of Benefits statements and the actual bills for weeks, or even months, after services are rendered.
Interesting. I wonder how that works if they are still on their parent’s insurance policies? Like the bills or explanation of benefits letters go somewhere.
Injuries to an athlete while in practice or competition, etc. are covered by the school’s insurance.

That said, even if students are on their parent’s insurance policies the parent is not entitled to information from the university, if the parent wants that information they need to obtain it by the student, as long as they are a legal adult.
This is all true. And its frankly one reason why the HIPPA laws are utterly convoluted. Parents are typically paying for their 18 year olds education and medical insurance and other expenses. Its crazy that they can not get access to relevant information.
The student can sign a ferpa waiver that allows the parents to have access to information such as that IF they request it (the university is still not going to notify the parent automatically). Now during most orientations, there is a section in which they explain to parents that without that waiver, if a child is 18 the university cannot release any information to the parent without the waiver or express written consent from the student. HIPAA is different and deals expressly with entities that are considered medical providers. So if a parent is an established legal guardian they would have acces to medical information for their child.
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Regardless of the notification of parents about injuries requiring surgery, there’s a lot of other accusations. If this doesn’t give you pause, I don’t know what will.
The Deseret News has learned that two Utah gymnasts were hospitalized for more than a week at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute to address mental health concerns and suicidal thoughts. Both hospital stays came toward or at the end of a gymnastics season.

“During my time on the team, I was cussed at, had things thrown at me and was emotionally abused by Tom Farden to the point of being so broken down I wanted to take my own life,” one former All-American gymnast wrote to a student-athlete advocate.
How is it crazy? They can find out from the insurance company, if the adult children decide to get treatment using the parents insurance. But it cannot be right for schools to be informing parents about their adult children.
This is quite disturbing to me. I have had interactions with Tom, and I in no way got a win at all costs vibe from him. He comes across as very methodical and measured if a bit odd. During recruiting visits he would come in with notebook and timers and measuring tape and time gymnasts runs down vault, measure settings on equipment, all the while keeping meticulous notes. He was very pleasant and the girls thought he was quite funny. But I guess we need to see the results of the inverstigation.
I’ve also gotten the impression that Farden was a very clinical/analytical type of person. College gym news (I think) did an interview with him, Plocki and Kindler just before nationals maybe two years ago. They asked what their hopes were for nationals and Kindler was like we want to win, duh, and Plocki gave the usual platitudes about performing like they practice. Farden’s answer was basically about how he’d ran the numbers as to what their potential could be and the goal was to maximize their potential. It all just came off a bit cold and analytical to me.

I don’t know what’s going to happen at Utah, but a lot of the allegations in that article are troubling. It seemed obvious that something was going on due to all the transfers after last season, but the situation seems to be worse than rumored.

Megan Marsden really needs to learn how to say no comment though. Yikes.
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Once your children turn 18 the only way you can obtain medical information from a HIPPA provider (i.e. a medical provider) is if they sign a HIPPA release or if they had executed a durable power of attorney for health care. It is insane in my opinion and has led to situations where “adult” children get into serious accidents or become ill unexpectedly and their parents can not get information or make necessary medical decisions for them

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