I’m trying to reach out to Paul Yetter, head coach of T2 Aquatics in Naples, Florida, about his experience with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) — where Michael Phelps cut his teeth and which Phelps now co-owns with Bob Bowman.
Tim Joyce of Baltimore’s WBAL Radio reported last week that a former NBAC swimmer alleges she was sexually molested by a coach there when she was a girl. WBAL management then unconscionably threw Joyce off the air and wiped his excellent series of articles on USA Swimming sex abuse off the station’s website. The Baltimore Sun picked up the NBAC story without crediting Joyce.
Two days ago this website named International Swimming Hall of Famer Murray Stephens, NBAC’s founder, as the coach against whom the swimmer leveled her charges. Stephens left the club, and USA Swimming claims that it gave the Baltimore County police information on the women’s allegations in 2011. But the police say they can’t find such a report, and USA Swimming — which has lied blatantly and repeatedly about its diligence in reporting and acting on claims of molestation — won’t help by pinning down the date or sharing the police complaint control number.
Meanwhile, Paul Yetter has started following me on Twitter. I sent a message to Yetter requesting that he allow me to follow his own Twitter account — which in turn would allow us to exchange direct messages — but Yetter has not responded. His own tweets are “protected.”
In between his time at NBAC and his current role in Florida, Yetter was an assistant women’s swimming coach at Auburn University. In 2009, Amy Shipley, who covered swimming for The Washington Post, wrote a tantalizing article about Yetter for The Post‘s local swimming news website, reachforthewall.com. The point of the piece is that Yetter coached many elite female swimmers at NBAC and got close to them, but NCAA recruiting rules restricted the contacts he was not allowed to have with them, and that frustrated him. One of his most famous protégés, Katie Hoff, swam in the 2004 Athens Olympics at 15.
The article, headlined “Yetter Goes From NBAC To Auburn … Quietly,” is at http://reachforthewall.com/2009/08/15/yetter-yearns-to-say-hi-from-auburn-but-cant/.
Reporter Shipley’s career moves are themselves something of a mystery. At The Post this summer, she reported Kelley Davies Currin’s revelation that she had been serially raped by her coach Rick Curl, who is now under a lifetime ban by USA Swimming more than 20 years after paying out $150,000 to the Davies family in a “non-disclosure agreement.”
I have criticized Shipley and The Post for not writing their own scoop very clearly or thoroughly. Recently, Shipley left The Post for a job at Jacksonville’s Florida Times-Union, and no one will say why.