Notre Dame Football, USA Swimming — Partners in Lawyering Up on Sex Crimes

Published November 29th, 2012, Uncategorized

Here are some additional notes on our featured story of the last two days: “How Does Notre Dame, No. 1 in Football, Get Away With Covering Up Player Rapes?”, http://concussioninc.net/?p=6325, and “EXCLUSIVE: Notre Dame Athletic Director Appears to Admit Advising USA Swimming in Sex Abuse Cases,” http://concussioninc.net/?p=6329.

How fitting is it that Jack Swarbrick — long-time legal counsel and consultant for the puppetmasters and MBA types crawling throughout contemporary sports, professional and “amateur” alike — would become the athletic director credited with returning the Fighting Irish, the most sentimentalized program in the country, to football glory? And that he and Chuck Wielgus, the executive director of USA Swimming, are not only old buddies but also partners in holding the veil over the ugly story of rape and child molestation inside their respective institutions? And that both have broadcast rights deals with NBC?

The other important theme of the Notre Dame-USA Swimming sex-crime connection is a point I’ve made repeatedly: USA Swimming’s status as the sport’s putative national governing body — even though it claims jurisdiction only over age-group club swimming, the Olympic team, and associated programs — is, to a large extent, a cover for the other money-making forces of the aquatics industry.

One of those forces is the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Notre Dame’s own swimming coach, Tim Welsh, is a member of the board of directors of the American Swimming Coaches Association, and was a speaker at the same Las Vegas ASCA conference this year that also featured the former Australian employers of famous coach Rick Curl, who is now under indictment in Maryland for his statutory rapes of his swimmer Kelley Davies Currin.

ASCA’s executive director, John Leonard, lacks the grace even to euphemize — a very bad sign. “We do not have an organization that deals directly with children, nor is that part of our purpose in any way, shape, or form,” he cheerfully asserts. Leonard sits ex officio on the USA Swimming board and policy committees, where he is arguably the fattest stone in the wall of that organization’s historic and continued resistance to changing the business-as-usual culture of coaches screwing their teen (or younger) girl athletes.

 

Irv Muchnick

 
FURTHER READING:

Sex Abuse Revolving Door: Rick Curl Case Shows College Programs Share Responsibility for USA Swimming Cover-Ups

Published August 8th, 2012
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