According to executive director John Leonard, the American Swimming Coaches Association is not “an organization that deals directly with children, nor is that part of our purpose in any way, shape or form.”
The difference in the accuracy of this statement would be virtually trivial if you were to substitute “American Academy of Pediatrics” for “American Swimming Coaches Association,” for the numbers of masters and elite swimmers are miniscule in comparison to the millions of rank-and-file youth swimmers. Take away youth learn-to-swim classes and age-group club and recreational swimming, and the millions-upon-millions-upon-millions-of-dollars-a-year swimming industry, including ASCA, would cease to exist.
Not dealing with children has not stopped ASCA from publishing News for Swim Parents, a weekly newletter usually consisting of a single item of bromides or topical tips, often by a guest columnist.
The May 11, 2009, edition of News for Swim Parents was devoted to the topic “Adjusting to Different Stroke Techniques” and had this prompt: “My daughter’s coach has been changing her strokes and now all of her times are slower. Does the coach know what he is talking about?” The guest columnist that week was none other than Mitch Ivey, identified as “a member of the 1984 Olympic Coaching Staff.”
Ivey was all that and more.
As I recount in Chapter 1 of my ebook PENN STATE IN THE POOL: The Cover-Up of the USA Swimming Youth Coach Sex Abuse Scandal (published in April as an Amazon Kindle short), Ivey succeeded the legendary George Haines, developer of Mark Spitz and Donna de Verona, as head coach of the Santa Clara Swim Club in California when Haines retired in 1973.
Twenty years later, Ivey lost his job as the women’s coach at the University of Florida when a team from ESPN’s Outside the Lines arrived on campus to produce a report on his long and well-known history of sexual predation of his athletes. Noel Moran Quilici told ESPN she had rebuffed Ivey’s sexual advances in Santa Clara in 1975, when she was 15 years old and Ivey was 27; two years later they began having sex, and a year after that they got married.
So Mitch Ivey was out of a job, but ASCA’s John Leonard came to the rescue, according to multiple swimming world sources. Within a year, on Leonard’s referral, Ivey became the swimming coach at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Florida.
And to this day, thanks to Leonard’s patronage, Ivey publishes coaching instructional materials through ASCA.
Different strokes, indeed.