Derrick “Tom” Fraenkel, a swim coach at the Valley Area Swim Academy in Valley, Alabama, has been given a 1-year suspension by USA Swimming. His suspension officially began on April 16th, 2018 and will end on April 16th, 2019.
Two sections of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct were cited: 304.3.4 and 305.1. Those two sections are cited below:
304.3.4 – The following shall be considered violations of the USA Swimming Code of Conduct…Violation of any of the Athlete Protection Policies set forth in Article 305
305.1 – Inappropriate touching between an athlete and an adult non-athlete member or Participating Non-Member (as defined in 401.1) is prohibited, including, but not limited to, excessive touching, hugging, kissing, and having an athlete sit on a non-family member adult’s lap
While no criminal charges that we could find have been filed against Fraenkle, an individual identifying as Fraenkle left the comment below on an article on SwimmingWorldMagazine.com on March 10th, 2018. In the comment, Fraenkel says that he was “banned for life” (he wasn’t) for “simply hugging their swimmers in front of their parents.”
Fraenkel claims that he was reported by a young female coach who was attempting to get his program driven out of the City of Valley Sportsplex community center. NAIA member Point University also practices at the Sportsplex facility.
Assuming a standard month-long appeal period that comment would’ve been left about a week before a decision was made on his punishment.
Fraenkel’s comment is below: