Curl Burke Responds; Rick Curl Takes Leave of Absence

  35 Braden Keith | July 25th, 2012 | Club, National, News

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.


  1. mary says:

    I swam for Rick at Prep and was close friends with Kelley. I commend her courage for coming forward. I too knew about this as did many others. You have to remember that this was a looong time ago. If I remember correctly the purpose of not going to the authorities was to protect Kelley and prevent her and her family from being highlighted by the media. Now, if this happened today there is no doubt people would be in jail.

  2. Swimmer4Life says:

    In defense to CUBU, those men that you are claiming knew the entire time are NOT the only coaches. Curl Burke has over 100 coaches on staff. Before you drag the rest of them through the mud, maybe you should take into consideration that these types of coaches are the exception and NOT the majority. Taking your kid somewhere else doesn’t make them any safer; there are several local clubs that have dealt with this in the past as well…

  3. sue says:

    I hope that the administrators of this site will determine the IP address of ‘JG’ and make the necessary contacts.

    His comments are more than disturbing and perhaps imply something much more sinister.

    • Brian says:

      I don’t care for “JG’s” comments, and in fact, I deplore them, but while you might not like his comments, they are not indicative of anything that Big Brother needs to be coming in and investigating an IP address and trying to “make the necessary contacts”.

      It’s comments like that which cause me to understand people’s hesitation about sexual abuse charges, or anything of that nature.

      This country, for all it’s freedom of information and call for fairness, is full of idiots and sheep (which is in no way a reference to you, Sue) who would call for someone’s head the minute they are accused of something, make a comment they don’t agree with, or even look funny.

      Because a comment “looks or implies maybe something sinister” doesn’t mean anything, and is hearsay, since you are applying a personal opinion to it.

      While he might have tried to make some sort of point, albiet extremely poorly and caused me to shake my head, cut it out. There’s no need for witch hunts, even though I understand how raw this subject is.

      • Swimparent says:


        I don’t endorse JG’s comments, but, You are so right about Sue! One person says something she doesn’t agree with and she wants them investigated. Hey Sue, here’s a news flash for you: we still have freedom of speech in America.

  4. disgusted says:

    Those of you who say this was an “open secret” or that you had heard about this at the time are ALL GUILTY of helping cover up child abuse, and you should all be ashamed. Don’t sit there behind your computer screen and act like this is old news. If you knew and didn’t say anything about it you are a horrible disgusting person and you need to reset your moral compass, or risk having someone else reset it for you in court. All you had to do was call the police and report what you heard. They would have investigated it, and there would have at least been a record of the incident.

  5. BaldingEagle says:

    As a friend of mine said earlier today: “Worst-kept secret in DC.” Heck, I heard this back in 1989. Many of the details reported in the article I heard 23 years ago. In the article, Ms Davies mentions that her parents were as naive as she was. I won’t hang blame on them. Instead, they got horrible and unfortunate advice from the lawyers.

    • Jg says:

      Ok then . Return the money. then this case might be able to from scratch.

      • sam says:

        I agree. The parents took the loot and it sounds like Ms. Davies-Currin kind of liked the fun. It sounds like it went on for a few years.

        Don’t shoot me, just one man’s opinion.

        • Jg says:

          That is leading into another realm of experience. Many young girls are & have been very sexually active. One case recently (non sporting ) of a 45 year old wanting to sue the state over non convictions of “rape ” when she was 12 year old. All evidence lead to her actively seeking the sex with 5 males & the case was dismissed in 1982

          Born again victims..

        • Robin says:

          Your opinion? Wow, I hope you’re a troll and not for real. To suggest that an underage girl “liked the fun” of being taken advantage of sexually by an adult male in a position of authority is repellent beyond belief.

  6. Pete says:

    How can they name Morgan as the replacement, considering his comments in support of Rick? It makes no sense even for Morgan to take the position from any point of view.

  7. Jg says:

    There have been many of these allegations that have proved to be false also.

    I know of one where the police stormed in to arrest a man at Christmas dinner on his (step ) daughter tearfully reporting assault. An extremely harrowing time for all – no less so when the girl was diagnosed with a very serious form of mental affliction well past the psychosis stage. Since then she is required by law to attend hospital for weekly intravenous anti -psychotic drugs. If she does not turn up the police come get her.

    Not everybody is mentally stable before these allegations.

    • Neptune2029 says:


      • Jg says:

        As I said – some alleged victims are mentally unstable. There are many cases that have been proven to be unfounded. I have a few of these in mind but I used the above example that it can & does happen where he ‘victim ‘ was simply crazy.

        I know of cases the other way also .

        I find the fact the family took a settlement in itself to be suspicious.

      • don says:

        Apparently she shared her meds.

        • Jg says:

          Don – seriously . I think if you followed the Scott Volkers case you would find a mixed up revengeful & jealous adult with severely challenged timelines .

          This was just one case whereby the victim was either a complete liar or mentally deranged. She lost.

          I have many others also.

  8. don says:

    Well, lets could be that being sexually assaulted as a 13 year old, developing an eating disorder, leaving school and the feeling of overwhelming shame that rape victims feel could have something to do with it.

  9. sam says:

    I read the article in the Washington Post. My question is why did it take Ms. Currin 23 years to report it?

    I am not taking sides and I do not know either Mr. Curl or Ms. Davies-Currin.

  10. don says:

    Oh, and I am curious if Rick Curl and Noah Rucker both attended the SAFE SPORT SWIMMER PROTECTION seminar that is “taken so seriously”.

  11. Walter says:

    This is sad but not surprising. It’s been an open secret for years.

  12. Splash says:

    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.

    • Swimparent says:

      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.

  13. don says:

    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 to shake up the culture.

  14. Chris DeSantis says:

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

    What about Kelley Currin?

    • trina tambor says:

      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 charge when Rick Curl is not around – who would run the programs and what would happen to Pete Morgan? It was that way when Rick Curl was coaching in Australia (from 2004-2008) and it is that way now that Rick Curl has taken leave. Sexual abuse was not spoken of twenty-three years ago, it was a different era, and if you tried to call someone out on it, the victim is always the one persecuted. Shame on all those who knew and did nothing! It seems as if the times they are a changing and hopefully because of the awareness, perpetrators will think twice before preying on the more vulnerable! My sympathy goes out to the victim and the family.
      USA Swimming has nothing on their website about this – they need to stand up and show that they will take action and that they are going to look out for the children. And the fact that there is no link on the front page of the Washington Post’s website now does make one question whether there is pressure being applied to keep everything on the low key. If 15 yr. old Katie Ledecky comes away with a medal at the Olympics I am betting that Rick Curl will be hard to find.

      • MicWiz says:

        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.

    • JSwimmer says:

      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.

      • Swimparent says:

        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 relationship] from her. It was none of our business. She wasn’t all that comfortable [talking about it]. It was a big step for her to say, ‘I’d like to swim, but I can’t go back to that guy.’ ”

        Added Bullough: “She wasn’t asking for help from us. It was like, ‘Hey, this is behind me; I’d like to keep it behind me.’ . . . She hadn’t gone public. It didn’t sound like she wanted to deal with it [publicly]. Out of respect for her, we didn’t tell anybody.”

      • Mary says:

        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 says:

      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.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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