USA Swimming Board Members Accused of “Overt Campaigning,” Settlement Reached

Two USA Swimming Board members were accused of “overt campaigning” earlier this year and have since reached a settlement with the organization.

According to the published minutes from USA Swimming’s Board of Directors meeting on February 11, the organization received a complaint alleging “overt campaigning” against Board members Clark Hammond and Ira Klein.

USA Swimming conducted an investigation into the complaint, and ultimately reached a settlement with Hammond and Klein in lieu of pursuing the allegations with the National Board of Review (NBOR).

USA Swimming said it would seek an order issued by the NBOR to memorialize the agreement between the parties.

USA Swimming declined to offer any additional information on the matter to SwimSwam. When SwimSwam pressed and asked about USA Swimming’s stated commitment to transparency and whether they thought the membership deserved to know about any potential rules violations relating to the election of members of the Board of Directors, a spokesperson explained the organization’s stance as: “Per our rules and procedures, we afford a certain level of confidentiality to all National Board of Review matters. We continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards of transparency, which is why we disclosed the amount of detail we did in the open portion of the Board meeting, rather than cover this matter in closed session. Out of deference to all for whom this personally affected, we are unable to provide more information publicly.”

The minutes from February also note that the Nominating Committee Task Force recommended “specific campaigning rules” and violations for breaking those rules.

Both Hammond and Klein were elected to the Board of Directors last September, beginning four-year terms that will run through 2025. Both were notably elected as “unvetted members” last year, meaning they were self-nominated and either “chose not to participate in the nomination process or were not recommended by the Nominating Committee.”

Klein has previously served as Vice President of USA Swimming and been the President of the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA).

Hammond, a partner at law firm Wallace Jordan Ratliff & Brandt, previously served on USA Swimming’s Board from 2014 to 2018.

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Snarky
1 month ago

What is overt campaigning? If the selection committee picks others yet two different people are actually elected by the people, isn’t that democracy? More info please.

John Leonard
1 month ago

The concepts of good journalism would have invited a comment from the two board members involved in this perhaps something to think about.

Andre Peterson
Reply to  John Leonard
1 month ago

Speaking of 🤡

Taa
1 month ago

You cheat to win and when called out on it you are still allowed to keep the victory? Great message to the kids.

Hillbilly
1 month ago

I may be reading this wrong, but is this just the rest of the USAS BOD being mad that two people didn’t want to jump through all their hoops to get elected?

I have recruited and coached a few of Ira’s former athletes and I personally like the man, so I may be biased in my interpretation.

FLCoach
1 month ago

Coach Ira Clown at it again…

MIKE IN DALLAS
1 month ago

Why do I feel as though “shades of FINA” are present here when it comes to “dubious” electionering techniques?!

TWU
1 month ago

It would helpful if there were a brief explanation of what “overt campaigning” meant for the uninitiated among us.

coach
Reply to  TWU
1 month ago

They both posted on Facebook that they were running for the board since they were self-nominating from the floor.

Last edited 1 month ago by coach
Reply to  coach
1 month ago

Wait…that’s it? That’s all they did?

Athlete rep
Reply to  Harmilee Cousin III
1 month ago

Campaigning for board positions is a grey space. Mostly against the rules unless you do so I’m a non “overt” way

Taa
Reply to  Harmilee Cousin III
1 month ago

Haha I thought they actually cheated or something. You can run for the board but you can’t tell anyone? Is that really the rule?

coach
Reply to  Harmilee Cousin III
1 month ago

Yes, they were given a letter of reprimand and told to remove their post.

Swimmmer
1 month ago

USA swimming continues to be a clown show run by old white men.

CADWALLADER GANG
Reply to  Swimmmer
1 month ago

usa swimming: 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡

Mike
Reply to  Swimmmer
1 month ago

Many of those old white men(along with men and women of all colors) have put decades of service in thankless volunteer positions that allow the sport to offer opportunities for swimmers like yourself to participate and excel. Ira Klein has been one of those people for 40 years regardless of whatever this is all about.

Imagine
Reply to  Mike
1 month ago

You’re being ratioed because the truth isn’t as much fun as being woke.

Last edited 1 month ago by Imagine
Mike
Reply to  Imagine
1 month ago

I’m much farther to the left then the right. Its just always amazing to me that often the same people that want to be seen fighting all of the ism’s jump right on the old white male categorization when 99.9% of said old white males have nothing to do with the perceived leadership ineffectiveness/corruption. As we see time and time again poor leadership is not restricted by age, gender or race.

Pvdh
Reply to  Mike
1 month ago

That doesn’t change the fact that all the people of issue seem to be old white men, and to a lesser extent old white women.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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