(AP) – Michigan State women’s gymnastics coach Kathie Klages says she’s retiring immediately, a day after the school announced her suspension.
Klages has been coach for nearly 30 years. Her name has surfaced in lawsuits by female athletes who accuse a Michigan State sports doctor, Larry Nassar, of sexually abusing them during treatments. He denies it.
Klages is accused of downplaying complaints made by two teens in the late 1990s. But athletic director Mark Hollis says he was troubled by Klages’ “passionate defense” of Nassar to members of the gymnastics team during a meeting last September.
Hollis referred to the meeting in a letter to Klages dated Tuesday.
Klages’ attorney, Shirlee Bobryk, says Klages would never put athletes in “harm’s way.” She says Klages is retiring “out of respect to the university and the gymnastics program.”