COLLEGE SPORTS

University of Utah gymnast retires from sport and withdraws as student, alleging abuse

Oct 20, 2023, 6:36 PM | Updated: 7:34 pm

Utah's Kara Eaker competes on the beam as No. 4 Utah takes on No. 5 UCLA at the Jon M. Huntsman Cen...

Utah's Kara Eaker competes on the beam as No. 4 Utah takes on No. 5 UCLA at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — University of Utah women’s gymnast Kara Eaker announced on Friday her retirement from the sport and withdrawal from the university, alleging verbal and emotional abuse.

“For two years, while training with the Utah Gymnastics Team, I was a victim of verbal and emotional abuse,” a statement released by Eaker on Instagram read. “As a result, my physical, mental, and emotional health has rapidly declined.”

According to her statement, Eaker is now seeing a mental health provider “because of suicidal and self-harm ideation” and was recently diagnosed with mental health conditions including anxiety, depression and PTSD.

It was unclear whether Eaker’s claims of abuse were related to University of Utah women’s gymnastics coach Tom Farden, who was recently the subject of an independent investigation into claims of emotional and verbal abuse of student-athletes.

Investigation finds U of U gymnastics coach did not engage in ‘egregious’ abuse

The investigation, conducted by the Kansas City law firm Husch Blackwell, concluded in September that Farden had made a degrading comment to a student athlete in what it determined was an isolated incident, but that Farden had not engaged in “severe, pervasive or egregious acts of emotional or verbal abuse.” In her statement, Eaker described the investigation as “incomplete at best.”

Eaker is a two-time Pan American Games gold medalist and a two-time World Championships gold medalist. She was an Olympic alternate for the 2020 U.S. team.

Users on Instagram expressed their solidarity with Eaker and admiration for her courage in speaking out.

KSL 5 TV Live

College Sports

Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes dribbles around Paige Bueckers #5 of the UConn Huskies in th...

Associated Press

Iowa-UConn women’s Final Four semifinal most-watched hoops game in ESPN history; 14.2M avg. viewers

Iowa’s 71-69 victory over UConn at the women’s Final Four on Friday night averaged 14.2 million viewers on ESPN, making it the most-viewed women’s basketball game on record and the largest audience for an ESPN basketball broadcast.

5 days ago

The man who witnessed the alleged racist insults that were directed towards the University of Utah ...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Body camera footage released from report of racist attacks against U of U team in Idaho

New body cam video is giving insight into alleged racist harassment that targeted U of U basketball players while in Idaho for an NCAA tournament.

14 days ago

...

Michelle Bodkin and Madison Miller, KSL Sports

Coeur d’Alene officials express regret, sorrow after U of U WBB experienced ‘racial hate crimes’

On Tuesday morning, city officials held a news conference to offer apologies to the University of Utah women’s basketball team and provide updates on the investigation.

17 days ago

KSL Sports

No. 6 Seed BYU Falls To Physical No. 11 Duquesne In NCAA First Round

BYU basketball fell to Duquesne in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

22 days ago

FILE - Fans arrive for an NCAA college football game against UAB at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the...

Mark Long, AP Sports Writer

NAACP urges student-athletes to reconsider Florida colleges after state eliminates DEI programs

The NAACP says Black student-athletes should reconsider attending public colleges and universities in Florida.

1 month ago

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 2...

John Zenor, AP Sports Writer

Alabama’s Nick Saban retires after 7 national titles, most in major college football history

Alabama coach Nick Saban is retiring after winning more national championships than any other major college football coach.

3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

University of Utah gymnast retires from sport and withdraws as student, alleging abuse