Exclusive Interview NCAP CEO, Tom Ugast *Corrected

  9 Garrett McCaffrey | September 19th, 2012 | Club, Featured, News

On the day of Rick Curl’s USA Swimming hearing, Garrett McCaffrey catches up with Nation’s Capital Swim Team CEO Tom Ugast to discuss the highs and lows of the past year for the club formerly known as Curl Burke.

Update: USA Swimming contacted Tom Ugast after this interview to clarify that they reached out to Curl Burke, via email, on July 24th, 2012. That’s the day Amy Shipley’s article on Rick Curl was published in the Washington Post, and a year and three months after USA Swimming started their investigation according to the timeline they released last week.

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9 Comments on "Exclusive Interview NCAP CEO, Tom Ugast *Corrected"

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4 years 1 month ago


Among my first reactions: Garrett is a fantastic journalist. Asks tough, thoughtful questions tactfully and eloquently.

I’m trying to process the part about how the LSC assumed the apparently sole responsibility for supporting the club from a governance standpoint, and that Ugast seems to say all he got from USS was an email….not that USS’s track record is such that I think they’d have improved on the course of action the LSC and club took…but it’s one thing to “empower” local solutions and another to say “good luck, let us know how this turns out.” Especially given the profile of the coach and the club.

Jessica Fry
4 years 1 month ago

Great interview! I loved it!

long time swim person
4 years 1 month ago

Ugast has been with Rick Curl for a very long time.. this is not a breath of fresh air, it’s the same stuff all over again…. a well oiled machine.. any coincidence that the re-branding goes public the day before Rick and Noah get nailed??

Chris DeSantis
4 years 1 month ago

Ugast still sounds like he is in denial about what happened, listen around the 4:50 mark. I understand the hurry to move on in the sense of continuing to provide a place for a couple thousand kids to swim, but it doesn’t sound like they’ve made an effort to do an honest accounting of their organization.

4 years 1 month ago

Chris — I think most everyone in the club is still processing all of this. The timing coincided with so much — the Olympics, the big season-ending meets (Sectionals, Jrs, Open) for the senior swimmers, and with Zones or the rest period for the younger kids and their parents — that there really wasn’t much time with a normal practice period for anyone to talk about it, work through it, and really discuss the implications. I think Tom and the coaches had to move very quickly to preserve the program. I imagine, now that the new club is named/launched and the new season is getting going, that lots of people, including the coaching and administrative staffs, will have a little more time to deal with the news and charges, Rick Curl’s departure, and all of the changes. I don’t think that is so odd. I doubt Tom has had much of a moment for reflection in that past eight weeks — I’d be surprised if he’s had much rest at all.
And yes, I am an NCAP parent who is very grateful that Tom and the rest of the staff were able to preserve the club, that Rick resigned and stepped away, and that we have the opportunity to work through and discuss all of this with our kids without having to scramble to find a new club at the same time.

4 years 1 month ago


I agreed 100%. I’ve been watching Garrett do these interviews forever and he has continually become better and better. He does his homework and clearly knows what he is talking about.

Thanks Garrett for all that you do–it’s weird to think this website wasn’t around while I was in high school and college!

4 years 21 days ago

All people criticizing and trying to punish Rick Curl are very unfair. All people are innocent and presumed innocent before a conviction on physical evidence in a fair trial with a fair impartial judge and or jury. No one deserves to be accused, vilified, punished by any person, nor by any atty, accuser, nor the press, nor any former or current club persons. Anyone on this site and the mass media attacking him would not want themselves treated in this manner. He has not spoken nor presented his side and deserves the fair chance to do so. This and any dispute of any subject (sex, business, financial, relationships, marital, legal, criminal, civil, swimming, etc) should not be publicized and should only be done in a court of law. The accuser, the critics, the media are convicting some one they see as someone they can and may want to sue. He has suffered from the mean attacks, from the accusations going on 30 plus years, for violations of the accuser and her parents and friends not keeping NDA private. Any person violating the NDA including the signers and people told should be fined the amount of the NDA plus 10 times more plus jailed for 10 years. This female should be vilified for violating the NDA, for publicizing a private matter, for embarrassing and damaging the sport, the club, her own family and reputation for admitting she and her parents harrassed and stalked him for years for money for alleged sex which makes the 3 prostitutes which is another reason to jail them. She and the parents lied and should be fined over $50 million in damages to the sport, the club, to non club industry persons and and to Rick Curls career, character and loss of club and club income. His family did not deserve this. The NDA is never an admission of guilt many companies, the govt, persons sign NDA to settle current and future disputes. Also many persons and co.s and the govt settle civil lawsuits with money never is it an admission of guilt but to stop current and future legal battles. WHY HAS SHE NEVER ACCEPTED BLAME FOR HER IMMORAL BEHAVIOR? WHY IS SHE HAVING SEX AND RISKING PREGNANCY WHICH WOULD PREVENT A CHANCE TO BE IN THE OLYMPICS? If he kissed her on the check or mouth she should have immediately got away from him, get someone else to take her home then tell her parents, end all contact and change clubs. There may have been no sex and no relationship and she should have to prove with a phyical exam anal and or intercourse took place. Abuse and rape are defined as force and unwanted sex and her age is not relevant. She consented. The statute of limitations expired. She can’t keep a secret so it is impossible to believe she could have a sexual contact with him. Is a sex only contact a relationship or is it just sex? Did she claim romantic dates and his verbal I Love Yous? Any love letters? Birthday cards don’t count. If this happened then he was punished with paying $150,000 already. This should be considered illegal and double jeopardy and also with the NDA she nor anyone else can legally try or actually punish Curl and his club civilly, or criminally worldwide and the NDA never expires. She is bitter he ended all contact. She never accused him until after he stopped all contact and she got kicked off her college team, lost her scholarship and lost the chance to go to the Olympics. Without the scholarship her parents probably had to pay for her college so her parents and her motivated by money threatened Curlowith an embarrassing crime to force him to cough up an absurd amount of money. Also US Swimming can’t legally ban Curl due to the prior NDA so they can be sued and the life ban will probably be overturned and a lawsuit by Curl against US Swimming. He can sue the accuser and her parents for violating the NDA and the media. Again I say stop criticizng him and let him work and have a decent life. What if this did happen? Then he made a mistake and I am sure regrets it. He probably regretted it if it happened. He has done a lot building the club giving many people jobs and helping many people with swimming and life issues. The accuser and her atty are motivated by money and will try to sue him, the club, to sue US Swimming. She is trying to jail Curl Coaches, Management, Employees, other swimmers, non Cu industry persons. That shows she is vindictive, selfish, greedy, mean. She won’t stop until she kills him. She is dangerous and a threat to the entire industry. She not he deserves a life ban. She and her parents not he deserve vilification and a criminal conviction, and life behind bars and a life ban from US Swimming. I may testify against her and her parents if this goes to any charges or court. I have never been part of either side nor have I ever received money by either side. I do not gain from either side winning. I am a independent eyewitness and more reliable then critics who have been involved in money claims against Curl. Elvis had sex with a teen age Priscilla Presley. Jerry Lee Lewis had sex his under age girl friend who he married.Bill Clinton had sex with a teen age intern and got her pregnant. Congressman Gary Condit had sex with a teenage intern. Sonny Bono had sex with a teenage Cher. None of them were condemned nor forced to leave their main career. This may be improper but it is consensual so not criminal. Most police and courts wont charge in cases of mutual consent and when it is ongoing rather than one night and nonconsensual. I never considered nor engaged in this type of conduct and I prefer to see abstinence taught and recommended to anyone under 18. A fine can be given as a citation and both parties required to go to sex education classes for a year or more to punish and to persuade both sides not to do this again. If anyone sees Rick Curl please be polite to him and treat him first class, the same way you would want from him if he learned of some mistake you made. Do not always assume any complaint against him or anyone by an accuser, by an accuser’s atty, and the media is correct when they have lied many times in this case and have money motives to gain by accusing and getting Curl punished. If Curl is cleared the accuser and her atty cant win money. Accusing any person of child sex abuse with no physical evidence of an exam as proof and only a verbal complaint is the biggest scam in America. Many people are falsely accused and convicted. If the are acquitted or later win the media wont tell you. Remember many charges of adult sex crimes are false. Kobe Bryant was falsely accused to get money from him. Several other basketball pro players also falsely accused for money. The Duke La Cross boys team all accused, arrested, jailed, had to go to court, bad publicity. Later found the accuser lied, also the prosecutor had committed crimes. Keep an open mind and always remember that the defendant may be innocent.If someone makes a mistakes they should also be forgiven and allowed to work and go on with their life without being publicized or punished over old history.

4 years 21 days ago

The point of statutory rape laws is that whether or not the victim “consented” to the sex, she (or he) is below the age of consent — i.e. not adult enough to fully understand the consequences of her or his actions — and therefore not able to legally give consent. The rest doesn’t matter — if she or he is underage it is considered rape.

3 years 11 months ago

In Maryland the age of consent is 16 not 18 like some other states and first Currin said it was sex at 16 which made it at the age of consent now she says 12,13,14. She has continuously changed her statements so she repeatedly liess. Neither she nor her parents went in person to any police station and filed a police report. That fact alone should make people wonder. Also she came forward to violate the NDA and lose the $150,000 because she found the atty Allard has made millions on another swim case. There is no physical proof, no witnesses just her verbal complaint is the entire case. An NDA is similar to most mediated and civil lawsuits and many public business contracts, and it states the NDA is not an admission of guilt nor can she persue civil or criminal charges. She first says she and her parents prusued Curl for money then said he paid to avoid a police charge. He like most people probably paid and signed to avoid possible bigger legal problems and bigger losses and to keep the club going plus he was recently married and his wife may not have known until the Post article. Currin could have made it all up. WHy would she be mad at Curl if her parents not CUrl broke them up and why would she ever write about sex with him in her diary? The standard is most prosecutors and judges and juries do not prosecute and if the case is prosecuted give a non jail sentence such as probation, no jail with consenting relationship type cases. She never accepts responsability, she has never voluntarily to return to Curl the money if its not about money and she never did anything to ever help any other alleged victim of child abuse. There was no evidence tis took place or he could have been prosecuted and jailed 30 years ago. Does anyone really believe he spent nights at her house when he had his own home and a fiance/girlfriend? No witnesses? No physical evidence? How did she avoid pregnancy? He stayed overnight after he was married? She had sex at her home and neither her parents, sister nor anyone else caught them? She had sex at his home after he married and his wife never found out or if anyone knew no one called police, called her parents, called his parents, called te county govt cild welfare office, called county social services, called the courts to charge im, called his wife or siblings or Curl management to tell them?No one notices and comments to her, him and the people named above if she and Curl were alone anywhere outside the pool or repeatedly together in a car alone? Why was she at his club (?for money? extortion?) when there were other teams and if he kissed her or just hugged her at practice she should have quit his club before it could be seen as consenting and it going further. She may be right but any person finding out about these allegations should realize there are many questions both she and Curl should have to answer and it is better if both this site and all media and persons just be fair and keep their negative bias to themselves. He has no chance of any fair trial nor do I think any fair pea bargain based upon all the unfair publicity. Neither she nor any media sites should discuss crime/sex/legal issue in public and let the police, courts, juges, juries and both sides work this out in a fair and eithical manner. US Swimming banned him for life after he resigned and before he could get though the criminal case and they did not give him a postponement nor wait until the criminal case was over simply based on her verbal complaint and no evidence. David Berkoff has been quoted by her atty as knowing which he said was a lie and he said he saw nothing between Curl and Currin when he saw them at swim events. She was caught cheating on her husband with another man and he divorced her. She was fired from her college swim team and lost her college swim scholarship after multiple coaches heard her malicious unfounded comments about Curl. She has damaged Curl club and swimmers and the swim industry by the unethical way she handled this situation. She did not deserve to get paid. Curl if sued or criminal charged by her or accused by her should have counter sued, counter charged. Many people admit since he kicked her out of Curl org she and her parents have maliciously pursued im, harrassed him and his club, his senior staff, and done this for 30 years. She has no business going on tv and notice neither Curl nor any senior Curl personnel said any public malicious comment about her. She embarrassed the US during the Olympics, she eliminated Curl from being a high paid tax payer and creator of jobs now he may become a welfare recipient if he ends up in jail. It costs more money to put someone in jail for a year then to send someone to Harvard and the US is broke. If he did this he can be punished by home detention and going to outpatient behavior correction. There is no evidence if this happened that it was done with other minors. Remeber Bill Clinton had sex with a minor so do you want him in jail and banned for life from his career? So did over 5000 other US politicians, so did Elvis, Jerry Lee Lois, so did Sonny Bono, and every night less than 5 miles from the Wite House current US politicians and business man and the Wash Post knows but won’t discuss them. Also over 50,ooo US women military are raped each year by US men military and again silence by the media. Ted Kennedy killed a girl with his car and never was punished. Laura Bush admits at age 18 killing her boyfriend with her car in front of his own father as witness yet never did one day of punishment. The point here is stop drwoning the media with negative attacks on Swim Coaches and try to work on fixing these problems. Jail is not a fix. No one but convicted murders belong in jail because jail makes people worse. If you don’t believe that you go sit in jail and go through the beatings, abuse, shootings, burnings, stabbing, lack of civil rights,, lack of toilets, lack of food, and see if jail does not turn you into a monster. Curl would never survive jail. He would be killed as many accused of this charge are or commit suicide and many people in jail commit suicide regardless of the charge or their innocence or guilt. Instead of condeming strangers or friends you know who get charged try helping them get through the punishment and help them correct their behavior. Stop being friends with some one who is charged may be your choice but also remember many people even if charged and convicted and jailed, whether for this charge or even murder are innocent even if one or more accusers claim they are not and the media should also give all accused persons the benefit of the doubt. One day it may be a member of the media who is unfairly charged, convicted and jailed and they would not like unfair meda reports about themselves.Curl has suffered terribly with the NDA, the NDA payments, the accusations, the publicity, being forced to resign, and the loss of his swim club. I hope he is innocent but if e is not try to forgive him and not continue to punish him for the rest of his life. Swim swam doesn’t care but in Maryland a man committed murder and got away with ith because the media and ;police were wasting time and money embarrassing Curl and the murderer is a real danger to the community and Curl is not. So media remember that many people want the media to focus on murders and not teen agers who stupidly consent. Parents have a job to chaperone their kids and check on them everywhere. Also every teen age 11 and to age 17 learns about sex so no one neither can Currin say she was never told not to say no plus her parents went to church, premarital sex is probably against her religion. If again sex took place Curl, Currin and her parents all deserve the same exact punishment and she and her parents should be forced to return the money. I think it is all for money and blackmail or extortion. She and her parents are also guilty of prostitution if sex took place and they demanded and received money for sex. Treat Curl with respect. Many people thought michael Jackson was guilty and the media ruined his career. After MJ died the teen accuser apologized and said his father forced the teen boy. Te boys father committed suicide. Now no one can bring Michael Jackson back to life.. Try to treat all persons on earth with respect. If some one does something wrong and is never charged or punished, that person can still be punished after death. US Swimming should get out of the enforcement business and let police handle it. Publicity of crime accusations and ban lists and embarrassing any person never deters crime nor corrects behavior. A person like Sandusky who probably has a sex addiction problem that Curl does not have may need longtime behavior correction. But any person age 11 and up should know never let any person besides a doctor, unless in a life threatening accident never allow anyone else have sex with you if you are a minor and any adult can protect themselves by not having any non marital nor extra marital sex realtionships.NDAs should be banned and no person should be allowed civil suits nor any person allowed to profit from being a crime victim or crime publicizer. Hundreds of thousands of child sex abuse cases are lies by accusers seeking, money, fame, other benefits. Currin is seeking, money, and fame and publicity.. So keep an open mind and stop condemning and convicting any one in the media.


About Garrett McCaffrey

No one lives the sport of swimming like Garrett McCaffrey. A Division I swimmer who spent 4 years covering the sport as a journalist, now coaches club swimming and competes as a masters swimmer, Garrett truly lives the sport of swimming. After graduating from University of Missouri’s award winning journalism program …

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