Accusations in Mark Schubert/GWSC Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Go Well Beyond The Pool

  48 SwimSwam | September 17th, 2012 | National, News

One of swimming’s most celebrated coaches, Mark Schubert, is being sued for wrongful termination by a former employee, Coach Dia Rianda, in Orange County, California.  The lawsuit alleges Rianda was fired because she continually alerted Schubert to “inappropriate behavior” by William (Bill) Jewell, a “volunteer assistant” at Golden West Swim Club (GWSC) – where Schubert is currently the head coach after serving a stint as the USA Swimming National Team Director.

The complaint is layered with additional allegations. Many of the coaches named have ties to some of the biggest names in coaching and their allegeded inappropriate behavior, Sean Hutchison of FAST, and Rick Curl of Curl Burke (now CUBU). Hutchison, who headed the Elite Training Program at FAST, has been cleared of any wrong doing by USA Swimming. Curl, who is alleged to have sexually abused Kelley Davies (now Currin) in the 1980s, is under investigation by USA Swimming. Curl’s hearing is set for September 19th.

The complaint is set to be filed by attorney Robert Allard, the same attorney who is representing Currin in her case, and the Golden West Swim Club and Mark Schubert are named as defendants.

Tim Joyce of WBAL broke this story, and according to his report, “Rianda claims that Schubert, on three separate occasions, tearfully told her that he could have done more for Currin but didn’t.”  Schubert coached Kelley Currin at the University of Texas, and, according to Rianda,  Currin told Schubert what Curl had done to her.  Later, when Schubert was the USA Swimming National Team Director, he “made it known to Rianda that he did tell Chuck Wielgus and others at USA Swimming headquarters about Curl’s abusive behavior.” 

While USA Swimming is still reviewing the documents, they did release the following through a spokesperson: “USA Swimming cannot comment on ongoing investigations. However, as a matter of process, when USA Swimming initiates a coach investigation, it immediately notifies the employing club.  As per the Amateur Sports Act, membership status cannot be affected without the opportunity for a hearing. Employment decisions during investigations are at the discretion of the employing club.”

For a simple wrongful termination case, this suit is rife with accusations, and it’s the broader sex abuse scandal plaguing USA Swimming and the central players involved that continues to generate headlines. The case seems to serve to tie together many of the major stories related to sexual abuse and swimming in the last two years,  even though the common thread is through an employment lawsuit.

Rianda was simply concerned about assistant coach Jewell’s behavior toward female swimmers. She claims that she brought to Schubert’s attention over and over, and that Schubert’s reaction was to fire her. But Jewell is more than an assistant coach. During Hutchison’s tenure at Fullerton Aquatics, Jewell was the CEO of FAST.  This program was the west coast training program for USA Swimming’s elite post graduates.  In sum, Jewell is a carreer coach, aquatics director, and a pillar of the community.

Rianda is also a well-respected coach and a generous philanthropist who has donated more than $100,000 to the USA Swimming Foundation. Whatever the outcome of this suit, the names and allegations involved will rock the foundation of the sport: either to the affirmative for the athlete safety initiatives, or to the negative.

Joyce’s full report from WBAL can be seen here.

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48 Comments on "Accusations in Mark Schubert/GWSC Wrongful Termination Lawsuit Go Well Beyond The Pool"

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What an amazing blog! So many assumptions, so many implications, so much piss and vinagar, so few actual facts. It will be very interesting to see what actually comes of this case. But there are two truths which will remain regardless of the outcome…Mark Schubert has a long history of being a manipulative prick, and Bill Jewell has a long history of being a creep. Whether either of them engaged in illegal activity remains to be seen, but it’s interesting that by proxy USA Swimming seems to have more on the line here than either of these individuals.

cynthia curran

Well, Mark got his start in swimming because Flip Darr left age group swimming around 1973 and Flip Darr coach later at the early days of Nova. Mark got Shirley Bashashoff, Peggy Tosdel and other national level swimmers from Darr’s Huntington Beach club. If Flip Darr didn’t quit at the time then Mark would not have been the famous coach he was only Brian Goodell started on Mission Viejo in the early years of Mark’s career. Also, Long Beach pick up the Furness brothers-Bruce and Steve at the same time.

News flash…it’s 2012!! Schubert has had a few accomplishments since 1973.

Brian, I am not trying to offend you or anyone else. I am going to ask a few rational questions. I hope you will take them as such. Do you know Bob Allard’s compensation? Would working pro bono make him a better person? Does working for pay make someone a worse person? Do you work pro bono? Always? If Allard has been paid, does that make him a bad person? If so, what does that say about Chuck Wielgus making $750,000+ a year? Should Allard hide that he won the California Lawyer of the Year award? Should he state that he is just an average lawyer? Even if that is not true? If Allard is out of bounds for acknowledging… Read more »
I will throw out a couple answers, I would go through them more thoroughly (when I have a little more time). 1) I won’t pretend I know Allard’s compensation. What I can guarantee, however, is that he will get a pretty penny on his behalf. 2) Doing this pro bono, would make him a better person (in my eyes). I would never suggest that I would always work pro bono, since there wouldn’t ever be any way to really profit. 3) Being paid doesn’t make him a bad person. It’s his repeated efforts to profit from the situation and take advantage of it for his own personal gain. 4) And I have no problem recognizing your own accomplishments. It’s the… Read more »
Brian, You obviously have a huge problem with Bob Allard or are using him as a focus for the damage the USA Swimming sex abuse problems are doing to your own self-image. I can’t help you with that. With your admission that you don’t know the facts, we must assume that your reaction is based on supposition or emotion. If that is the case, argument would be pointless. I must simply say “I disagree.” I appreciate your attempt to answer the questions I posed. They were intended as rhetorical and thought provoking. This was not an attempt at debate. That said, you responded only to the parts of the questions that related directly to Bob Allard while avoiding entirely the… Read more »