Bob Bowman Makes Statement on Caroline Burckle Accusations

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.

Bowman’s Statement:

“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.

 

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Vic
3 years ago

Wait what?

Jimbo
Reply to  Vic
3 years ago

Long story

Swack
3 years ago

Lol

Richard Saunders
3 years ago

Time to be a man Bob – Step down and go play with your horses

Buckeyeboy
3 years ago

If my child was interested in visiting ASU as a recruit, I would have to say, “not a chance in hell” until Bowman looked me in the eye and could somehow explain his behavior. What a smug and arrogant statement.

Swimmer A
Reply to  Buckeyeboy
3 years ago

From a smug and arrogant man

Coach T
Reply to  Swimmer A
3 years ago

He epitomizes “don’t meet your heroes”. I’ve seen him be incredibly rude with meet staff on more than one occasion, which always rubs me the wrong way.

Cate
Reply to  Buckeyeboy
3 years ago

Except from his statement, you don’t know what the behavior was or whether it was him or Sean Hutchinson that sent those messages from the phone. She seems to have forgiven him. She follows him on twitter.

Sprintdude9000
Reply to  Cate
3 years ago

“She follows him on Twitter, therefore all is clearly ok” 🤔

swimcoach
Reply to  Sprintdude9000
3 years ago

I follow Donald Trump on twitter… but its just to see the crazy.

Ummmm
Reply to  Buckeyeboy
3 years ago

Your loss

The Truth Will Set You Free
Reply to  Buckeyeboy
3 years ago

Just remember how many kids transferred out of the program this year alone, including the top 2 female sprinters. The Bowman defenders tried to blame it on the kids instead of where the blame really belongs. It is not a nice environment.

Swimmer A
3 years ago

Context is everything, and the fact that those messages were sent to Sean Hutchinson matters here. If I were him I would probably expand a little on that statement and act as if he’s actually sorry for sending those texts.

Gator chomp
3 years ago

I don’t see what’s wrong with this it seems like they came to terms and then now she is deciding to bring it up again.

M C
Reply to  Gator chomp
3 years ago

I think the overriding issue to me is that she shouldn’t have had to bring it up again. This is exactly what happens when people try to sweep things under the rug and I’m not sure how this is the victim’s fault because it wasn’t handled properly the first time. It should have been publicly disclosed in 2011, especially given Hutchison’s involvement, but for some reason they felt it was appropriate to keep things quiet. It would certainly appear that quite a bit of consideration was given to the fact that Bowman was about to be announced to US National Team coaching staff and they had just cleared Hutchison of allegations of sexual misconduct with another of his swimmers just… Read more »

Fred Lutz
Reply to  Gator chomp
3 years ago

This came from a discovery in a separate legal case. She’s not now just bringing it up.

Gghggg
Reply to  Gator chomp
3 years ago

I agree complete!

Ummmm
Reply to  Gator chomp
3 years ago

Yes because she hopes to promote her failing podcast etc. she was not a swimmer at the time nor since…but a grow adult outside the swim world…if I dont like something someone sends me I block them not accept their apology then send out a media blitz at 32 – 7 years later. Timing is interesting given her own ban issues!

612
Reply to  Ummmm
3 years ago

Do you receive explicit texts from a well known/”respected” international level coach who rode the coat-tail of the arguably the greatest Olympian of all time, and uses his position of power as a way to justify his actions of sexually harassing you? But hey, just “block” him and it’s all good.

Just because someone may “accept their apology” doesn’t mean all is forgiven and that there won’t be repercussions for the action. Who cares what her timing is, and if that’s why she’s doing it now. Bob and Sean are the two in the wrong here, and need to be dealt with.

muswim
Reply to  612
3 years ago

Why did she blow the problem out of proportion lol. Shes an adult and if she had a problem could have reported it to the proper authourities right then and there. Boom case closed, move on with your life. But instead has to bring it up all these years later. They all need to grow up!!!

Clevermcpsuedonym
3 years ago

If you take out his timeline clarification, his first statement reads as follows:

“I regret the exercise of poor judgement in being involved with inappropriate communications.”

I wonder how much he paid for that legalize cowardice.

It’s also disappointing how clear he wanted to make known that it was “seven” years ago.

Let’s forgive Bob. He was an immature 45 year old when the offense happened. Don’t we all make mistakes when were young and stupid?

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo
Reply to  Clevermcpsuedonym
3 years ago

So I guess you’re not forgiving him even though the victim already did?

Hookem’06
3 years ago

Anyone?!? I stopped short of finishing all the comments on the initial story but I noticed someone make an inclination of something. Maybe USA swimming has been turning an eye to what is so widely known among National Team members.

OwnItBob
Reply to  Hookem’06
3 years ago

Bob often talks about how “Perception is reality.”
It looks like the false perception that he’s an honest and decent person who follows his “Golden Rules” is finally being corrected.

From the implications that were made from multiple posts about the comments also being directed at Caroline’s brother, it’s a shame that Bowman could’ve been one of the first out coaches in high-profile athletics, but chose to harrass college-age athletes in secret and financially benefit from “Power in silence.”

What an absolute hypocrite.

While harassment and assault are much different, the parrellel to the way the Kevin Spacey news broke is starting to emerge and as someone who’s openly gay it’s beyond disappointing that it will take another… Read more »

Ex-Swimmer
Reply to  Hookem’06
3 years ago

It sure is interesting not seeing many (or any) mentions of Clark.

Totally off subject (well kind of) but does anyone happen to remember the name of Michael Phelps masseuse during his early yrs? Specifically 2000 US Olympic Trials in Indy.

swimcoach
Reply to  Ex-Swimmer
3 years ago

continue…

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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