“A majority” of the Cal women’s swim team walked out of practice on Wednesday, according to Scott Reid of the OC (Orange County) Register. The walkout came the day after Reid’s bombshell report detailing decades of verbal and emotional abuse by head coach Teri McKeever, citing at least 19 current and former members of the program.
Reid says that four people familiar with the situation said on Wednesday that newly-hired Cal assistant coach Jesse Moore told swimmers who are still in Berkeley that there would be a team meeting on Wednesday morning. When they showed up, head coach Teri McKeever asked them if they were “ready to swim.”
According to the OC Register, when the student-athletes were told that there was going to be a meeting, McKeever said that she had already read a statement, but then read what one swimmer described as a “basic” statement. No further details about the contents of that statement were revealed. A statement released by the athletics department on Tuesday used policy to not react to any of the specific allegations or address reports that the administration was already made aware of the complaints outlined in the report.
At that point, a “majority” of the swimmers walked out of the practice, some in tears, three people told Reid and the OC Register. They said that Moore followed the swimmers to the parking lot and asked if they were upset.
Moore was hired as an assistant coach at Cal in mid-April, meaning he only has a few weeks on deck in Berkeley.
Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton, associate AD Gordon Bayne, and director of high performance and well-being Graig Chow, have scheduled a meeting for after Wednesday’s afternoon practice. The OC Register’s reporting did not mention the department’s number two and sports administrator Jennifer Simon-O’Neill as part of that meeting. McKeever is the godmother of Simon-O’Neill’s oldest child, and O’Neill has been accused of covering up concerns that were brought to her by student-athletes and their parents.
Final exams at Cal ended on May 13, meaning that not all members of the team are still on campus.