Arizona State head swim coach Bob Bowman has sent SwimSwam a statement regarding the accusations made by former Olympian Caroline Burckle that he and coach Sean Hutchison sent her a series of inappropriate text messages and a voicemail in 2011.
“I regret the exercise of poor judgment in being involved one evening 7 years ago with inappropriate communications. I promptly apologized to the person to whom the communications were sent and my apology was accepted. I have nothing further to say at this time.”
Bowman is the head coach of the men’s and women’s swimming & diving teams at Arizona State University, and was the head coach of the 2016 U.S. Olympic men’s swimming team.
According to a letter sent from US National Team Director Frank Busch in reprimand of Bowman, on the evening of May 16th, 2011, Bowman and Hutchison were in the same location, using Bowman’s phone to send what have been described as “inappropriate and suggestive text messages.” Burckle reported the texts to a member of USA Swimming‘s staff, where it was fed up through the reporting chain, resulting in the reprimand.
Hutchison is now under investigation (both within the U.S. Center for Safe Sport and federal authorities) on accusations that he groomed Kucors from the time she was 13, began sexually abusing her at 16, and possessed images of Kukors as a minor that would qualify as child pornography. Hutchison denies the allegations, and is currently suspended from USA Swimming membership, but only as an “interim measure” and not as a permanent listing.
The incident involving the text messages came less than 6 months after USA Swimming conducted a SafeSport investigation into rumors that Hutchison and Kukors were romantically involved. Hutchison had previous romantic involvements with USA Swimming Safe Sport Director Susan Woessner, including a kiss in 2007 confirmed by Woessner’s resignation letter. That investigation didn’t uncover any Code of Conduct violation.
Arizona State has acknowledged our request for their comment, but has not yet provided an answer to questions that we sent them last week.