USA Swimming: “Ms. Currin’s First Lawyer Agreed with the Approach”

  47 Braden Keith | July 26th, 2012 | News

In light of the latest accusations of Kelley Currin and her lawyer, Robert Allard, USA Swimming has shared its own timeline of events since April, where both parties agree that Ms. Currin first sent USA Swimming a non-disclosure agreement signed between herself and coach Rick Curl in the 1980’s.

USA Swimming does not dispute the facts in the statement by Allard and Currin, rather they attempt to fill in  the timeline between first contact in April and Friday’s call for an emergency hearing. USA Swimming claims that after first speaking with Currin, her attorney (who was then not Mr. Allard) advised her that because of the confidential nature of the agreement, she should not move forward with the case.

Acting on information it had received about a possible incident involving an unidentified swimmer in the past, USA Swimming worked for months to identify Ms. Currin, and then to locate her.  USA Swimming found Ms. Currin and raised this matter with her.  She did not come to us.

USA Swimming’s third-party investigator first spoke with Ms. Currin in April.  At that time, Ms. Currin sent the investigator the confidential Settlement Agreement she had signed with Mr. Curl.  Because this agreement was described as “confidential,” USA Swimming advised Ms. Currin to speak with an attorney before the investigator sent the settlement agreement on to USA Swimming in order to protect herself from legal jeopardy.  Ms. Currin’s first lawyer agreed with that approach, and the investigator did not forward the agreement.

On Wednesday, July 18, Ms. Currin advised USA Swimming that she had a new lawyer.  On Friday morning, July 20, counsel for USA Swimming emailed the new lawyer and advised him that if, as Ms. Currin’s new counsel, he was comfortable with USA Swimming seeing a copy of the Settlement Agreement, we would ask the investigator to send it to us immediately.  Friday afternoon, Mr. Allard attached the Settlement Agreement to an email sent directly to USA Swimming.  The following Monday, USA Swimming initiated a National Board of Review proceeding against Mr. Curl based on information contained in the Settlement Agreement.

Potomac Valley Swimming has released a statement to its membership via its website:

By now many of you have read the article written in the Washington Post by Amy Shipley. The events described evoke powerful emotions in us all, as people concerned with the welfare of our children.

The Officers of Potomac Valley Swimming want to assure all of you that our highest priority is the safety of our athletes. We have worked closely with USA Swimming in support of the Safe Sport program that grew out of legislation passed in 2012, and are proud to be part of this program, which is the most comprehensive athlete protection program in Olympic sport. More Information can be found at: www.usaswimming.org/protect.

In addition to conforming to the national program, PVS developed a task force specifically charged with issues dealing with safe sport. Also, the PVS House of Delegates endorsed the creation of a Board position that connects the task force to the Board.

We want to share some facts around the case presented in the Post today. USA Swimming was provided with information late Friday afternoon (7/20/12) which enabled it to initiate the Board of Review process on Monday (7/23/12). The reporting process is one element of USA Swimming’s comprehensive Safe Sport program which includes efforts in each of six different areas: Policies & Guidelines, Screening & Selection, Training & Education, Monitoring & Supervision, Recognizing, Reporting, and Responding and Engagement & Feedback.

By the Amateur Sports Act, all members of a National Governing Body are entitled to due process before any action is taken on their membership. At USA Swimming, that due process is called the National Board of Review, and consists of a hearing by a three-person panel. It is that panel that will hear this case in the next week to 10 days. In the meantime, we have been told by Curl Burke Swim Club that Rick Curl has taken a leave of absence and will not be on deck.

Potomac Valley Swimming supports USA Swimming in all its efforts to protect our athletes and encourages anyone with first hand credible knowledge regarding sexual misconduct to report to USA Swimming.

We understand that this is an emotional time for our members and we assure you that we will share further information when it becomes available.

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47 Comments on "USA Swimming: “Ms. Currin’s First Lawyer Agreed with the Approach”"


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4 years 19 hours ago

FYI

San Jose Mercury News
Monday, July 23, 2012

Today, Penn State University was handed an unprecedented punishment by the NCAA for its role in the Joe Paterno – Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. This week, the Olympic Games begin in London featuring a USA Swimming team tarnished by the largest child molestation scandal in United States sports history.

With more than 50 coaches already banned for life for sexually molesting minor swimmers and many more still coaching at local swim clubs, not a single individual or board member at USA Swimming has been held accountable.

It is time for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to step in and clean house at USA Swimming by demanding the immediate resignations of its Executive Director Chuck Wielgus, his entire leadership team, and the Board of Directors. All of these individuals have played a role in covering up the molestation of young swimmers and creating a culture at USA Swimming which is far deeper than the one that plagued Penn State.

The culture that allowed USA Swimming coach Andy King to molest 14 year old Jane Doe in San Jose is the direct result of decades of inaction by USA Swimming and goes back to the days of Mitch Ivey when he was having sexual relations with his underage swimmers in Santa Clara, California in the 1980’s.

To understand how this culture can flourish, one need only look at the individuals in charge of USA Swimming. Wielgus effectively thwarted any investigation of King by ordering that a swimmer’s complaint of sex abuse be kept “confidential” in 2002. Wielgus then attempted to deceive the American public on ESPN by stating that King was not even on USA Swimming’s “radar” until he was arrested in 2010 for child molestation. He repeated this misrepresentation under penalty of perjury in legal documents.

Perhaps the biggest insult of all to sex abuse victims is that Wielgus and USA Swimming have shown absolutely no remorse for their callous and indifferent behavior. When given the opportunity to offer an apology on ABC’s “20/20”, Wielgus appeared incredulous that the interviewer had the audacity to ask such a question and quipped “You want me to apologize?”

USA Swimming’s leadership continues to foster a culture that blames and intimidates victims while going to great lengths to protect pedophile coaches, even it if means advancing false and misleading information. This is the same mentality that led to the Penn State tragedy, except that we are not talking about one coach going back years but dozens of coaches going back decades.

If the USOC refuses to clean house, then Congress, which created the USOC, must step in and protect our kids.

By Robert Allard
Robert Allard, law firm of Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, was the attorney for Jane Doe in her civil case against USA Swimming. Mr. Allard has been honored as California Lawyer of the Year in 2012 for his work in exposing the USA Swimming cover up and sexual molestation scandal.

trina tambor
4 years 16 hours ago

Thank you for this information! I think everyone needs to be enlightened to this information.

Joel Lin
4 years 15 hours ago

Mr. Allard,

Those of us who have been in the swimming community our whole lives and were college swimmers in the 1980’s when this all happened are thankful it sees a light. You represented the “swimmer” in this case back then adverse to the “coach”. Your client got $150K to go away and say nothing. Curl’s attorney, who is now apparently a judge in Maryland, got something worth a lot more for his client. Rick Curl made no admissions and the agreement was to settle a dispute that was completely non-specific in the document. You think Curl all these years later is going to chime up and fill in the blanks for everyone about the $150K? If he gets another smart lawyer – and he will – he’ll spin it into something else. She had “issues” because I yelled at her during workouts and that so damaged her self esteem…some garbage like that. Why not? To this layperson, the window was left open.

You could have been a splash for truth in 1989. The parents and Kelley could have gone to trial and just buried this guy for more than the settlement, but more important it was an opportunity lost to get Curl out of the game. Since then he went off and coached at an ACC school and another university, served as a national team coaching staffer and ran his cash cow club Curl-Burke wherein he was the majority owner.

So why did that not happen Mr. Allard? Were you only a tradesman in 1989? If the Davies family was unable to afford your fees in 1989 to take it to trial – hundreds of thousands most Americans don’t have to wit – was it just better to broker a toothless settlement and confidentiality agreement for the $150K certain than to fight? If you had a great case, why didn’t you unburden your client and take it all the way on contingency against Curl and his deep deep pocketed club as parties? You would have won big, and the integrity of the sport of swimming would have been best served.

You’ve toggled a line here to present again as the advocate for all, the Camelot for the integrity of the sport of swimming. Is that really appropriate after this insipid item was kept in the lock box for decades courtesy of the same document you co-authored with Curls attorney?

4 years 14 hours ago

Did I miss something, or are you just making an incorrect assumption? My understanding was that Allard was NOT the attorney for the victim in queston in the 80s. The actual agreement lists the attorney for the plaintiff as Judith Catterton. So why are you suggesting that Allard somehow dropped the ball back in the 80s?

Can you explain?

MarkB
4 years 10 hours ago

Yes, pretty harsh post for someone who may not have looked too carefully at the 1989 suit and the lawyers involved.

sue
4 years 9 hours ago

I don’t know who represented the family or advised the settlement but it was decent counsel AT THE TIME!

Now we live in a post Penn State world. The world you describe above did not exist then. Further, her parents were indeed naive as is easily seen by the agreed upon dollar amount.

Is it not much harder for you to fathom how so many young boys were abused by Sandusky for so many years?!

Yet you still ask why they didn’t do more?

4 years 18 hours ago

FYI

Here is a link to an excellent article that highlights the history of this scandal and USA Swimming’s corruption and dirty tactics.

http://www.momsteam.com/poisoned-waters-sex-abuse-by-male-coaches-of-female-swimmers-continues-despite-USA-Swimming-efforts

FREEBEE
4 years 17 hours ago

so US swimming fosters a culture of molestation and cover up? fostering a culture assumes that child molestation and abuse are PERVASIVE, i.e., normal conditions and not exceptions–that is most people do experience sexual abuse of some kind as swimmers or perpetuate it as coaches/parents and then US swimming finds out and then covers it up? One may claim that there are cover ups—this is proven in some cases–no news to anyone here–but to depict the entire U.S. swimming world as a culture that fosters, perpetuates, and covers up massive child sexual abuse is ridiculous and inflammatory

Craig H
4 years 15 hours ago

This is a great article, and does a very comprehensive job of highlighting the pervasiveness of the problem. My only objection is its characterization of Sean Hutchinson: it lumps him in with all of the other pedophiles and child abusers, and doesn’t know that his alleged affair was with a swimmer who was very much an adult, over the age of 20. While I agree that this is probably not an appropriate coach-swimmer relationship, it is a consenting relationship between two adults is very different than the awful abuse cases we are seeing elsewhere.

MarkB
4 years 10 hours ago

The problem with the Hutchinson case is that while it may have been with two consenting adults, Hutchinson was in a position of authority as coach and that muddies it a bit (preferential treatment, etc.).

Allen
4 years 17 hours ago

Hey Bob Allard,

Stop posting under “Splash”. It is excruciatingly obvious that you are one in the same.

4 years 17 hours ago

Potomac Valley Swimming’s self serving statement is appalling. How can we be assured that the officers of PVS highest priority is the safety of their athletes? What a joke! If this wasn’t the worst kept secret in ASCA and USA Swimming, then is was definitely the worst kept secret in Potomac Valley Swimming.

The question that needs to be asked is what is the punishment going to be if (or when) Curl is banned from the sport for life? He owns Curl Burke and obviously shouldn’t continue to be allowed to own or have any involvement in the club, nor should he profit off of the sale. Should the name of the team be changed? Should USA Swimming require the club disband? There could be an enormous amount of fallout.

4 years 16 hours ago

Splash,

What a personal victory for YOU, if the Curl-Burke swim team just dismantled and went down in flames. YOU and your army would relish in it’s demise. I think you represent a large army of people who are hoping this will happen. This goes beyond the actual case. In fact, it looks like you would like the entire sport of US swimming to be banned for life. You bring such positive energy to the sport of swimming and are a true asset – not! Your comments are idiotic and you are out of line.

There are real live good people involved in this sport who work very hard to keep it safe and healthy for our young athletes. This sport is the livelihood of many respected and hard working coaches who give so much to the sport and their athletes.

Splash, what good have you contributed to this sport besides trash it and the good people involved?

Chris DeSantis
4 years 16 hours ago

CUBUSwimmer,

I don’t endorse everything Splash has said, but if Rick Curl molested a 13 year old girl in 1983 then there need to be consequences for that. Anyone who knew and did nothing deserves to be held accountable as well.r Those consequences will be painful for the institution that is Curl-Burke, including some of the real live good people you mention.

It’s hard to be “positive” when discussing something as destructive as the sexual abuse of minors. I am not advocating for the destruction of USA Swimming or Curl-Burke, but I think neither institution is worth more than the well-being of one athlete.

4 years 14 hours ago

Chris,

Really, anyone who heard the rumors and hearsay about what happened needs to be held accountable? Her parents and lawyers who represented Kelley at the time negotiated the agreement. They were in charge of Kelley. Nobody has proof of anything except for the people who handled her case.

But, if people disagree with me, then let’s start from the beginning. One of the first people she claims she confided in was Richard Quick. Richard Quick happened to be her swim coach at the University of Texas, an adult figure in her life who was to be looking out after her. He was also the Olympic Swim Team coach and a very prominent powerful person in the sport of swimming. What did Richard Quick do about this? At the time of the fall-out, where does coach Quick and the University of Texas come into play? I’m curious since you feel everyone needs to be held accountable. Of course, Richard Quick is not alive, but there were many many people at the University of Texas who, at the time, I;m sure were hearing the same rumors the rest of the swimming world heard. Eddie Reese included. Good luck with that theory.

Swammer/Coach
4 years 13 hours ago

Chris,

I like your blog and although I don’t always agree with you, your logic is well thought out. In this case, I think you are off base. I think you need to look at the mechanisms that were in place in the 1980’s versus now on how we deal with these issues.

The fact is, that improvements, albeit minor are being made to USA swimming. Are they happening fast enough, HELL NO. But I think in any organization change takes time and I do see change happening. I think the timing of this is great, because it will continue to shed light on this deep societal problem. If you do any kind of research in to child sexual abuse, the numbers are absolutely apalling, especially for young women. This is not just a swim coach problem but a societal problem.

The culture of turning a blind eye has changed and will continue to change as more of the old guard retires or is ousted from the sport. I think that overturning the whole organization and casting a wide net of guilt is counterproductive. It overlooks all the good things that are being achieved.

I’ve rambled on too long now, but I will close by saying that as a happy father of a newborn girl I don’t know how I could ever deal with something like this happening to my daughter. I would want to fight Rick Curl and hurt him and then hurt him some more. Thanks to all on this board for continuing an important and meaningful dialogue.

Brian
4 years 13 hours ago

This. Then =/= now. For many, it was rumors and hearsay. The fault in this particular instance lies squarely on the shoulders of the parents and the attorney who urged them to settle.

Because they settled, the victim was banned from telling anyone about what happened, and even if she did, legally, it would have zero ground because of the NDA – you could turn around and sue her for dealing in bad faith. Unpalatable, maybe, but that’s how contracts work.

What would Quick have said? He can’t use anything she tells him because she’s not supposed to tell him, the NDA prevents any third party from being made aware of any such information in the first place.

Kahuna
4 years 16 hours ago

So since there are good people in the sport we should not want the ones who tarnish to be sought out and punished?

jim
4 years 15 hours ago

I believe it’s tough to punish anyone else then the people involved. As with Penn State, there was the perpetrator, then people who covered up. Yet NCAA saw it fitting to punish those not even involved. That just doesn’t seem like a logical course of action.

Obviously Rick Curl should have a day in court regardless of statute of limitations, or at least be investigated if this happened more than just to one person. If people within the coaching staff, or administration of the club knew about it, then there has to be some form of accountability punishment there. But I don’t believe a team full of swimmers of today who did not participate or condone any of the things that happened so long ago should be punished. Logically that does not make any sense.

If there were fines levied on the program, and the program defaulted or imploded or families left the club, then that is part of the collateral damage of this, but I don’t think USA swimming or any governing body in the best interest of the young swimmers should even consider forcing the program to close. I don’t think that was Kelley Currin’s intention by going public either. I think her intention was to unearth something that was a terrible event (or series of events) in her life. The Penn State scandal might have made it easier to finally come forward.

Brian
4 years 15 hours ago

Honestly, I don’t know if even Currin herself has any idea of the repercussions of her own actions.

Whether it was her intention or not, the manner in which she is going about this, not to mention hiring an attorney who obviously has his own vendetta against USA Swimming (re: His Bio).

And maybe it’s because of my time seeing plaintiffs, etc, who are snakes, but really? Out of any time to go public, where it would still be newsworthy and people would know, she does it right before the Olympic Games, the only time where anyone on the international stage might here about it?

I hate what was done to her, but it smacks slightly of attention-grabbing, to me, whether it be by her or her attorney.

jim
4 years 13 hours ago

I sort of agree. I think it has less to do with the Olympics so much as to do with the Penn State Scandal. Being so forced into public view, it probably opened up old scars for her, and the visibility of how the actions or inactions of people around the scandal have maybe reminded her of how difficult it was during her childhood, and is finally ready to take action. You could conclude that doing it now simply because of the olympics seems fishy (especially with the lawyer guy), but I guess that she has probably tried to forget about the whole thing, and every day plastered everywhere about the Sandusky scandal made her revisit her own situation. As people finally came forward in the Sandusky scandal, perhaps she felt she could too.

All speculation of course. I’m not her and have no idea what her intentions or motives are of the timing.

4 years 7 hours ago

CUBUSWIMMER, I’m sorry about offending you, but was just asking the question. If Curl is banned (which it doesn’t look good right now) I personally think he should be forced to relinquish the club without making a profit. I feel badly for the swimmers, parents and coaches and have a great respect and admiration for the club and its accomplishments. Best wishes.

Swimparent
4 years 2 hours ago

You are right CUBUSWIMMER! Splash, you are just ignorant! You would have us believe that every swim coach is a predator and a child molester. It does seem that you have a certain zeal when it comes to trashing the entire Curl Burke team, (and the sport of swimming). According to your logic we would disband the catholic church because of pedophile priests, and the boy scouts too.

fluidg
4 years 16 hours ago

SPLASHOFTRUTH, thanks for posting the link.

USA Swimming exists in a bubble. It’s a relatively tiny sub-culture that enjoys (and frequently abuses) the freedom that comes with a lack of oversight and accountability. No one is going to bother to police a minor sport that most people have nothing invested in and care little about. But USA Swimming appears corrupt at its core. It’s leadership, perhaps intoxicated by its success, does as it pleases with impunity while rewarding wrong doers and using fear and intimidation to silence its critics.

Unquestionably, USA Swimming has accomplished many great things under Wielgus’ leadership. But is it enough to be “successful”? Shouldn’t we aim higher and also do good?

The Penn State implosion demolished an American icon and blasted a shockwave that is probably beyond the ability of USA Swimming’s ivory tower to withstand.

Brian
4 years 15 hours ago

“SplashofTruth”, it is obvious that you are unable to weigh any facts objectively – rather, you look for every article or bit of news in the entire history of USA Swimming that can paint it in a negative light.

Is their corruption? I grant that. I think it would be hard pressed to not find that in any sports’ governing body.

Your actions are not those of someone who was either successful in our sport or in life, but rather that of someone who sits in their basement and draws conspiracy lines on a board.

The only punitive measure that needs to be done is stripping Curl of his coaching and banning him from the pool deck, if he is found guilty in a court of law. A swim team is much different than a collegiate sport or football team. Everyone is there for their own reasons, are paying to swim, and training, as well as competition, is very individually-based.

Not to mention that it is 1000X more likely that Curl covered it up not to protect the team, or to profit from Curl-Burke, but to protect himself.

I also enjoy how you quoted an article by Robert Allard himself. Nice try, but do you think that there would be no histrionics in an article written by the very attorney who is trying to go after the governing body, most of whom’s leaders weren’t around in the 1980s?

Oh, that’s right, I forgot. You’re the one who thought that Allard was such a white knight that he was doing these cases out of his own pocketbook and at great expensive to himself. I’ll give you your lesson in law for the day: Every lawyer has an ego complex, and no one does anything for free. He’s doing it for money, notoriety, and public perception, just to clarify your little love affair with any article that Allard seems to write.

I suppose in a perfect world there would be zero incidents involving coaches. Though now with USA swimmings new rules I would assume it would be lessened.

But hey, I suppose USA Swimming can start a pre-crimes division and start monitoring the brain and activities of every coach in it’s program.

4 years 9 hours ago

Brian, I’m sorry for the vulgar post last night. It was over the line. You seem like an intelligent person and I although I don’t agree with you on some of your postings, I do respect your opinion.

In regards to the punishment if found guilty, I was just asking the question and not saying what I think happen. Obviously, if these accusations are true (and it doesn’t look good), Curl should be banned from the sport for life and forced to give up ownership of Curl Burke. I’m not anti-Curl Burke and have great respect for the accomplishments of their program. There are a great many swimmers, parents and coaches that have nothing to do with Curl’s alleged actions and they should be allowed to reorganize and move on to new leadership and ownership. With Curl owning the club, it becomes somewhat of a tricky situation and I personally feel that he should not profit off the sale of the club in any way if he is banned for life.

Brian
4 years 9 hours ago

Fair. Apology accepted, things were a little raw and things got heated. I understand this post and where you are coming from on this matter, and I agree.

Spirith20
4 years 14 hours ago

@Chris, I’m curious to know how those who knew can and should be held accountable? If you swam or coached at the national level for any length of time, you knew about this situation BUT there was nothing that could be done without someone directly involved coming forward and being willing to press charges. USA Swimming’s hands were tied, if they acted on rumors they would face legal charges against them for defamation of character. What is equally as upsetting is that many, many of his peers who definitely at least knew of these rumors elected him as president of ASCA, a position he declined for good reason!

mommaswim
4 years 14 hours ago

Accountability doesn’t begin with USA Swimming….it begins with, not only Curl, but KELLEY’S PARENTS!!!!!!

Coach
4 years 12 hours ago

I agree. Why are we only slinging mud at Richard Quick or Pete Morgan when her parents took money to stay quiet? They clearly had first hand knowledge and did NOTHING to stop him.

PsychoDad
4 years 12 hours ago

Exactly. Can we somehow get Curl to jail, picture of her parents publuished so that we can spit on them, and the victim and her lawyer to shut up. This is such a sick story on many levels.
As a parent of 14 year old swimmer, I do not allow for this to happen. Our club’s coaches do not invite swimmers to their houses or give them rides, and even if they do my daugther would not go. No team travel either. You have to assume worst to be able to protect them.
Her parents are the most disguisting people.

MarkB
4 years 10 hours ago

MOMMASWIM, COACH & PSYCHODAD,

I posted this on another thread here but it warrants repeating. You all are quick to “sling mud” or “spit” on Kelley’s parents. What would you do if your child was beyond distraught and begging you not to make this public. She’s crying and ashamed (and had been treated for an eating disorder), though it’s not her fault. Would you then pursue this legally? Or would you make him pay somehow, legally, without you going to jail, too? Could this just possibly be a scenario?

Pooner
3 years 11 months ago

PsychoDad & MOMMASWIM…. You know nothing about her parents or the victim and to be so judgmental is beyond my comprehension! But then again… your screen name must say it all about you! I feel sorry for your daughter, because I bet living with you, she too has a lot of secrets that you won’t find out until she is much older! Where is your sympathy for the victim and her family? Actually just reading your opinion makes me wish you would post your picture so I could spit all over it! What has happened to our society that we can feel nothing for the victims and their familes? You are a disgrace to the human race! On judgment day may God be less judgmental of you then you are of others! Shame on you both!

sue
4 years 9 hours ago

While I agree that allowing your child to spend that kind of time with an adult is highly irregular and suspect, I do think that her parents made the right decision at the time.

Actually, they made the right decision about the money and the wrong one about the amount. It should have been much higher.

Their lawyers likely pointed out to them that their daughter would be put through a trial or civil suit and made to testify etc. She may not even have been believed. There would be publicity. In the end, maybe the guy gets away with the crime and the child has been put through hell. And for what? Lawyer tells parents they might lose a civil suit and end up with no money and no justice.

The lawyer is right of course and everyone is guaranteed their money in this scenario. I do believe that the climate toward this type of crime was very different 20 or so years ago, and the lawyer knew that the parents having served up their daughter on a plate might cause this case to be seen as something ‘not so criminal’, hence the settlement.

As can be seen on this site from some of the comments, this is still a controversial subject. Sadly, some do not understand that such relationships are rape.

PsychoDad
4 years 4 hours ago

Wow! How much money would be then enough for you to forget your child was raped? You are a sad person.

4 years 9 hours ago

All, we need to take the focus and blame off of Kelley’s parents. In regard to the parents, it was a different time (1980s) and there was no reporting system in place for USA Swimming and it was handled differently by the law enforcement authorities during that period. In addition society trusted authority figures (coaches, teachers, priests, scout leaders, etc.) more. Personally, if I was her parent, I hope that I wouldn’t have taken the money and let it drop. However, nobody but the Davies family know every intricate detail of the situation they were dealing with at the time. It must have been very painful to deal with.

If these allegations are true (which I believe they are), I hope that Curl gets everything coming to him. This is sick behavior, even for that more liberal time period. I also don’t buy the argument that the sport was under different leadership. It was and it wasn’t. People like Carol Zaleski, Ross Wales, David Berkoff, the Petersons (USSIC), John Leonard, Dale Neuberger, and were all around either involved in or running our sport. TheyThere is no doubt they heard the rumors. I also had no doubts that Chuck Wielgus heard the rumors/stories early in his tenure as executive director

sue
4 years 9 hours ago

I agree with you , Splash. Not only was the climate different, but this type of crime was also unfortunately all too common.

I do not, however, agree with you about the parents. They do have to shoulder some of the blame. It’s a fact.

Coach
4 years 8 hours ago

I agree. As a parent, no way would $150,000 do justice to the monster that did something like this to my child.

ALL adults were in the wrong. Just like people are pointing fingers about coaches or board members for knowing, the parents had first hand knowledge. Not correct to excuse the people who made money off it when others knew of it because of rumors and are being blamed for not coming forward.

3 years 11 months ago

Splash,

No we don’t need to take the blame off of Kelley’s parents. The 1980’s were not the dark ages. They chose not to call law enforcement and press charges. They got a lawyer, they took money, and they agreed to a settlement. This we know. Everything was in their hands. Or it was in Kelley’s and they allowed her to influence their decision. Maybe the parents realized that they were enablers.

The USA Swimming board is not a law enforcement agency so I really don’t know what you think they had authority to do in this situation. The power to do anything was in the hands of Kelley’s parents. I don’t know how old you are or where you come from but I grew up during the same time as this and there was no ‘spending the night’ at my house with coaches. My parents would never allow that because they taught me to have respectful appropriate boundaries by example.

Furthermore, your apologies are not welcome because for one, they are not sincere, and two, I really don’t care.

4 years 9 hours ago

All, we need to take the focus and blame off of Kelley’s parents. In regard to the parents, it was a different time (1980s) and there was no reporting system in place for USA Swimming and it was handled differently by the law enforcement authorities during that period. In addition society trusted authority figures (coaches, teachers, priests, scout leaders, etc.) more. Personally, if I was her parent, I hope that I wouldn’t have taken the money and let it drop. However, nobody but the Davies family know every intricate detail of the situation they were dealing with at the time. It must have been very painful to deal with.

If these allegations are true (which I believe they are), I hope that Curl gets everything coming to him. This is sick behavior, even for that more liberal time period. I also don’t buy the argument that the sport was under different leadership. It was and it wasn’t. People like Carol Zaleski, Ross Wales, David Berkoff, the Petersons (USSIC), John Leonard, Dale Neuberger, etc. were all around either involved in or running our sport. They are still involved in our sport on the USAS board and committee levels. For all the good they supposedly did (and there is some debate to that), the fact that Curl got away with this for 25 years is sick and tragic. There is no doubt they heard the rumors. I also had no doubts that Chuck Wielgus heard the rumors/stories early in his tenure as executive director.

For our sport to move on from this scandal, there needs to be a complete overhaul of the leadership of USA Swimming.

Brian
4 years 8 hours ago

Question, Splash – What’s your opinion on the change in rules by USA Swimming regarding parental supervision, coach interaction, etc?

I agree with your sentiment about the 1980s being much different than today. Now that there is a (newer) reporting system in place, and the parental supervision/chaperone rules are in place, etc, do you think that the system is already different?

That it is more of a “The system is completely different now, but things from the past are going to come up and rear their head due to how the system used to be” sort of situation? I find it hard to believe in this day and climate that even something suspected in the post PSU climate would go unmentioned.

David berkoff
4 years 1 hour ago

Coward behind the mask:

I know who you are and you know who I am. When you reference my name, tell the truth. As you are well aware, in 1991 I was a 23 year old swimmer who had the guts to come forward and address the issue of sexual abuse of athletes. I was hardly in charge or in a position of power. What I did do in 1991 was this: I chaired the first abuse subcomittee which developed what became the first code of conduct, albeit later than I would have liked. I resigned from the BOD in 1993 and was gone for 17 years. I got back into USAS after the Andy King issue twenty years later (in 2010) and helped author and advocate for passage of the most ground-breaking athlete protection policies in amateur sports. Those of us who were there at the 2010 USAS convention will recall that this legislation passed unanimously. That’s what USAS is. We are a family. We stand up whe we see a wrong and solve the problem.

I love this sport. I also want pedophile coaches out of this sport. I want athletes and parents to feel safe in our sport. From my experience in the past two years o the Board I have yet to meet anyone who disagrees.

I’m proud of USAS for taking on this issue and being a leader on this issue even if makes what occurred in the past look bad. I think USAS is way ahead of the game now but we need to contInue to be vigilant. Unless and until swimmers like Kelly Davies come forward and testify and participate in the process USAS (like all other sports governed by the federal Amateur Sports Act) bad coaches cannot be removed from our sport.

Keep the faith swim fans.

Swammer/Coach
4 years 59 minutes ago

Like x1,000,000

Thank you for a voice of reason!!!

joeb
3 years 11 months ago

agreed!

old coach
3 years 11 months ago

Nicely written David!

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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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