USA Swimming has added two new coaches to their list of Individuals Permanently Suspended or Ineligible for Membership after the expiration of their appeals periods. The suspensions are officially dated to November, though they members aren’t added to the list until after any appeals have run their course, or the 30-day appeals period expires.
David Baker from New York was banned under two sections of the Code of Conduct. One was section 304.3.7, relating to inappropriate sexual conduct, while the other is the catchall 304.3.19, which is the catchall “detrimental to the image of USA Swimming, a LSC, or the sport of swimming” clause.
- A Any inappropriate sexual conduct or advance, or other inappropriate oral, written, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature at any time, past or present, directed towards an athlete or any person under the age of eighteen (18) by (i) a coach member or other non-athlete member, or (ii) any other adult participating in any capacity whatsoever in the activities of USA Swimming (whether such adult is a member or not).
- B Any act of sexual harassment, including without limitation unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other inappropriate oral, written, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature in connection with or incidental to a USA Swimming-related activity by any person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming (whether such person is a member or not) directed toward any member or other person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming.
Baker was the former head coach of Mercury Swimming in New York. While we don’t have many details about the specific accusations for which USA Swimming banned him, there were no criminal charges filed in the case.
Also added to the list in November was Sam Seiple, who accepted a deal and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor unlawful sexual conduct with a minor related to sexual contact with a 16-year old that he coached in 2014 and 2015. While the girl was past the age of consent under Ohio law, because of Seiple’s role as a coach, it was still unlawful contact, and a violation of USA Swimming rules relating to imbalance of power relationships. Seiple was suspended under section 304.3.6 (2011-present code), 304.3.8 (2014-2015 code), and 304.3.19 (2014-present), which is again the catchall section.