As an update to the previous news that Mark Schubert has taken a 60-day leave of absence as the head of the National Team program, USA-Swimming CEO Chuck Wielgus sent an email to all U.S. National Team members telling them that they were to have no contact with Schubert during his 2-month hiatus.
From the Washington Post:
Schubert, one of the most prominent U.S. coaches in the sport’s history, has come under fire in recent weeks for his operation of the national team program, according to a source close to the situation. Schubert, who coached Olympic legends Dara Torres, Janet Evans and other stars, has alienated a number of officials with outbursts and other behavior that some considered unprofessional, and was told Wednesday morning either to take the 60-day leave or face being fired, the source said.
Schubert has a history of a short-temper, and has been accused by some of trying to use intimidation to impose his will on the USA National Team program. Wieglus’ email said that Schubert’s break would be for “at least” 2-months, and that restricted contact included e-mail, text, and phone calls.
Multiple sources have confirmed that his leave has no connection to the sexual-abuse scandal. This was the right time for USA-Swimming to make this move, as the next meet for which the National Team will officially gather are the Short Course World Championships in Dubai from December 15th-19th, and even that is likely to be a dilluted squad. If USA-Swimming is considering a change, and they will surely be biding their options during this 2-month leave, this is the right time to figure that out. Making the transition now would be easier than doing it in the run-up to the London Olympics in 2012.