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University of Utah unveils findings of Gymnastics program review



Last Updated on September 16, 2023 by Robert C. Hoopes

The University of Utah’s gymnastics program recently underwent an outside review led by law firm Husch Blackwell, and the results have now been released. The review was prompted by concerns over the behavior of head coach Tom Farden, including allegations of emotional and verbal abuse.

Although the review determined that Farden’s actions did not meet the legal definitions of abuse or harassment, it did reveal that some student-athletes had negative experiences within the gymnastics program. As a result, the Department of Athletics has committed to implementing five recommendations from the review, one of which includes creating a performance improvement plan for Coach Farden.

Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan expressed his disappointment in Farden’s behavior and emphasized that he will be held to a higher standard going forward. Farden himself has acknowledged the negative impact of his words and actions and has expressed a commitment to improving the student-athlete experience.

The review conducted by Husch Blackwell involved interviews with current and former student-athletes, parents, staff, and coaches. The report also includes relevant correspondence that ultimately led to the internal review of Farden’s behavior.

It is important for universities and athletic programs to address any concerns surrounding the treatment of student-athletes and ensure their well-being while participating in sports. The University of Utah is taking these issues seriously by conducting an external review and taking steps to improve the gymnastics program.

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Moving forward, it will be crucial for Coach Farden to focus on fostering a positive and supportive environment for his athletes. It is hoped that the implementation of the recommendations from the review will lead to a better experience for all gymnasts involved in the program.

As an educational institution, it is essential for the University of Utah to continue prioritizing the well-being and safety of its students. By addressing concerns within its gymnastics program and taking concrete actions, the university demonstrates its commitment to providing a positive experience for all student-athletes pursuing their MBA careers.

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