Curl Burke Responds; Rick Curl Takes Leave of Absence

Curl Burke, the swim club founded and built into one of the biggest in the nation by embattled swim coach Rick Curl today, released the following statement both to USA Swimming and their team members today.

The statement states that Curl has “decided to take a leave of absence” from the club that he owns, and that Tom Ugast

USA Swimming statement.
Washington Post says that USA Swimming has begun emergency proceedings against Rick Curl.

Dear CUBU Families,Coaches, and Staff,
In response to the article that appeared in the Washington Post today, Rick Curl has decided to take a leave of absence effective immediately. Pete Morgan will assume the role of Head Coach of the Curl Burke Swim Club. In addition, Tom Ugast, Director of Operations at CUBU since 2010 will continue to process all management functions on a day-to-day basis.
Curl Burke Swim Club takes very seriously the health and well-being of your children that swim for our Club. All of our coaches value the time they spend with the swimmers. As a Club we follow USA Swimming’s “Safe Sport” program to help ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved in our sport.
In 2010, all of our head site coaches attended the first seminar put on by Potomac Valley Swimming in conjunction with USA Swimming to educate our coaches in athlete protection.
In 2011, under the new policies that were adopted by USA Swimming, Curl Burke adopted a program that includes a code of conduct for our coaches, training in athlete protection, and mandatory background checks of all coaches. We strive to create an atmosphere that is safe and nurturing to all of our swimmers.
This article is painful  for our Club and Rick Curl personally. If you have any questions or concerns going forward, please contact Tom Ugast.

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35 Comments on "Curl Burke Responds; Rick Curl Takes Leave of Absence"

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Chris DeSantis

“This article is painful for our club and Rick Curl personally”

What about Kelley Currin?

trina tambor
In response to OjectiveReader -“Some of Curl’s wanabee, lackey, yes-men” and [email protected] – “I’m thinking all the head coaches of the Curl sites had to know and be told to keep quiet about this” This is the problem. No one wants to speak up when they see something being done that is wrong. Pete Morgan wants us to believe that he knew nothing. He has been Rick Curl’s right-hand man since the beginning. I believe he knew and knew that it was in his best interest to stay quiet. If it were to be found out that Pete Morgan knew about the incident and said nothing the repercussions on Curl-Burke could be devastating, as Pete is the head man in… Read more »

Wow – So now Pete Morgan is guilty for a cover up because you “believe he knew…and said nothing”? Why are you focusing on Pete and not Rick Curl? You know a lot about the club, so how do you base your claim that he knew? Were you there? Did you know of the abuse? Before vilifying others, let the action of the investigation come up with the facts without before playing prosecutor and attempt to destroy another person’s reputation based merely on your feelings – or back them up with facts.

As many have said, this incident has been known to many of us for a very long time. And I am SO proud of Kelley for coming forward – it had to have taken an enormous amount of courage! I applaud her! I swam for Curl-Burke in the 80’s as well and was close friends with a Curl-Burke coach (who is no longer a coach) when this story came out in 1989-1990. He CONFIRMED to me that the coaches knew and that they were supporting Rick. I was disgusted at the time and am disgusted now. If you are a parent of a swimmer at Curl-Burke, you need to know that these men protected a pedophile. Take your kids elsewhere.
It’s interesting that so many people are saying take your kids out of the CUBU team and “go elsewhere”. Like where?? RMSC? The founder of RMSC knew about it too. Why didn’t he report it to US Swimming? WAPO reported that: Currin said she confided in a number of people when the relationship ended, including Bill Bullough, the founder of the Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club. Bullough said she told him of a sexual relationship with Curl but did not provide specifics. At the time, she was seeking another club with which to train when she returned home from college. “We provided her an opportunity to get back and swim and support her,” Bullough said Saturday. “We did hear [about a sexual… Read more »

If you knew and others were aware of this, you all are just as guilty by not telling someone to protect others from this in the future. You condemn others for not speaking up- what about you? You must be in your 40s as well and could have “done the right thing” as an adult. I understand not being able to as a child but what about the other 20 something years??????

Samida Armid

Why should anyone feel sorry for a child rapist? He is a threat to the community and should be locked away permanently. I suggest the swim club be utterly transparent – remember Penn State. More child victims may exist.

What the CUBU response doesn’t say speaks volumes. I would have expected Rick Curl’s name to be included in the statement as, in” Rick Curl and the Curl Burke swim club.”…instead, it sounds like they are trying to distance themselves from him. Inclusion of his name in the last sentence is a luke warm acknowledgement of him at best. This has been talked about for years, it seems many were aware but choose to look the other way. I don’t understand how so many coaches that were in a position to do something just stood by and kept there mouths closed and kept the secret. A thirteen year old girl ….. Maybe we need to get the NCAA in here… Read more »
Samida Armid

Bravo! This bears investigation!

Isn’t it disgusting how some people are slamming the parents for taking the $ and not going to the authorities? ASCA and USA Swimming’s current and past boards and administrators, knew about this for close to 30 years, yet USA Swimming never acted until they realized the Washington Post had the signed agreement. ASCA doesn’t care since John Leonard has done some of the same stuff.

What’s disgusting is that she was abused and then her parents basically put a price on her lost innocence when they should have moved heaven and earth to get justice for her.


About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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