WBAL’s Tim Joyce Exposes USA Swimming’s Non-Denial Denial of $625,000 Agreement With Mark Schubert to Cover Up Sex Abuse

Published September 19th, 2012, Uncategorized

Today’s new piece by Tim Joyce of WBAL Radio in Baltimore — officially the only outlet with a larger audience than ConcussionInc.’s to give sustained coverage to the USA Swimming sex abuse scandal — demolishes the organization’s argument that there is no cover-up ongoing at the sport’s national governing body. See http://www.wbal.com/article/94087/12/template-story/USA-Swimmings-Non-Denial-Denial-Of-Schubert-Story.

Here’s Joyce’s money passage:

Among the “gratuitous accusations” that [USA Swimming’s] statement does not deny are the following:

·      The fact that a settlement between Mark Schubert and USA Swimming indeed exists

·      The fact that Schubert was paid at least $625,000. Why would they grant such a large sum if Schubert didn’t have merit with his demands?

·      The fact that Schubert was prohibited from publicly talking about either FAST (Fullerton Aquatic Sports Team) or sex abuse issues in general, that he instead was required to take information to their National Board of Review. By so doing, USA Swimming could basically control how the information was released

·      The information provided by Dia Rianda, the complainant, about Schubert’s – and USA Swimming’s – knowledge of Rick Curl

·      The information provided by Dia Rianda to USA Swimming regarding William Jewell

·      The fact that allegations continue to emerge about Sean Hutchison’s behavior – USA Swimming did not state that Hutchison is above suspicion. They did not categorically clear his name.

In February 2011, USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus had distributed an email to the membership to address “a groundswell of outrage from USA Swimming members, and especially from the coaching community where people are simply becoming fed-up” with rumors about a settlement with defrocked Olympic team coach Mark Schubert, and its relationship to reports of inappropriate behavior by Sean Hutchison at the FAST.

In order to lay to rest all the “bad information,” Wielgus said he was “compelled to step off the high road of not responding to anonymous attacks and set the record straight with the facts. Specifically:”

“Ø There has been no settlement between Mark Schubert and USA Swimming. [emphasis added]
“Ø Mark Schubert never presented USA Swimming with any incriminating information regarding Sean Hutchison.
“Ø USA Swimming hired an independent investigator to conduct a full investigation into the Hutchison case, which was run the same way all our investigations are run.
“Ø The investigator concluded that there was no evidence of an inappropriate relationship between Coach Hutchison and an adult athlete. This was the same conclusion drawn by the private investigator hired by FAST.
“Ø We released the findings because Sean had been vilified in the press and we felt the right thing to do was to make our findings public.
“Ø USA Swimming’s legal fees are publicly reported and total nowhere near the amount alleged in the letter.
“Ø Neither board members or staff receive any money from USSIC.
“Ø Senior staff salaries are publically reported.
“Ø Members of the USA Swimming, USA Swimming Foundation and USSIC Boards of Directors receive no compensation.”

Today is the USA Swimming national board of review hearing for Rick Curl, who serially raped his swimmer Kelley Davies in the early 1980s, then paid off her family to the tune of $150,000. In the lawsuit against Schubert filed earlier this week by swimming philanthropist Rianda, Schubert is said to have confided to Rianda both that he failed to do anything to help Davies when she swam for him at the University of Texas and suffered an emotional breakdown in the backwash of her abuse by Curl, and that Wielgus and others in top positions at USA Swimming later didn’t want to listen to Schubert when he told them about the Curl-Davies matter.

What will The Washington Post report on the Curl hearing. Nothing? Whatever Wielgus’s Colorado Springs-based flacks tell it? Or the independent truth?

Irv Muchnick