Uchiyama Scandal, Part 4: Key Witness in USA Swimming Cover-Up at Country Club of Colorado Answers Some Questions — Leaves Others Dangling

Published October 16th, 2013, Uncategorized

* “Uchiyama Scandal, Part 1: In 2006, National Team Director Resigned in Return for USA Swimming’s Promise Not to ‘Move Forward With Any Further Investigation,’” October 7, http://concussioninc.net/?p=8223

* “Uchiyama Scandal, Part 2: In 2007, USA Swimming Executive Pat Hogan Recommended Dismissed National Team Director to Country Club of Colorado,” October 8, http://concussioninc.net/?p=8228

* “Uchiyama Scandal, Part 3: In 2007-10, Dozens Attended USA Swimming Board Meetings at Country Club of Colorado — Where Secretly Dismissed National Coach Was Now Aquatics Director, October 9,” http://concussioninc.net/?p=8232

 

by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce

 

A person who knows what happened — or at the very least, how she herself was manipulated — in USA Swimming headquarters’ cover-up of secretly dismissed national team director Everett Uchiyama is a woman named Rose Snyder.

As our series to date has chronicled, Snyder was the aquatics director at the Country Club of Colorado, just down the road from USA Swimming in Colorado Springs. In December 2006 — 11 months after he left the Olympic swimming program and accepted an unpublicized “lifetime ban” from the sport — Snyder hired Uchiyama as a desk attendant at the country club. Shortly thereafter, aquatics director Snyder departed and Uchiyama succeeded her. Members of the USA Swimming board of directors could practically spit into the country club’s pool at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort, frequent venue of board meetings.

Rose Snyder’s husband, Charlie Snyder, was communications director of USA Swimming from 1990 to 2000. Her company, Rose Snyder Consulting, “is proud to offer, exclusively, the services of Charlie Snyder,” according to its website, http://www.rosesnyder.com/public_relations.php.

She is also an age-group coach for the Falfins swim club in Colorado Springs.

Talking candidly about the criminal harboring of accused sex offenders at USA Swimming, and about the money- and PR-driven handling of the departure of some of them — to the detriment of the safety of America’s 400,000 club swimmers — takes many of us out of our comfort zones. Clearly, it has taken Snyder out of hers. But it is an understatement to say that the Uchiyama scandal will be a focus of the examination of the history of USA Swimming’s sex abuse by Congressman George Miller and his staff, and that her testimony is at the center of it.

In the first email of our exchange, Snyder told us, “I appreciate your interest in getting this information to your readers. As far as I can see, you have all the facts that I could provide from the records your have obtained from the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and the HR [Human Resources] logs.” She added in part, “My heart and focus has always been on the grassroots of swimming. We need to work together to improve not only our sport, but all sports to make them a safe place for our children.”

Blowing past these platitudes, we asked:

– “Were you duped by Pat Hogan?” (Hogan is USA Swimming’s managing director of club development, who was a job reference for Uchiyama and told Snyder, when she interviewed Hogan in connection with the reference, that Uchiyama was a “great people person.”)

– “How do you explain the process by which Uchiyama was hired at the country club?”

– “Did Uchiyama apply for a ‘desk attendant’ job? How credible is that? When was he hired? When was he promoted from desk attendant to aquatics director?”

Snyder replied:

“Everett was hired for the position of Desk Attendant and per the HR required procedures, Pat Hogan was contacted as a reference, I left in early summer of 2007. I’m not certain what happened after that or when Everett was made Aquatics Director. To say duped would infer that Pat Hogan knew about Everett’s reason for leaving USA Swimming and I just don’t know if that was the case.”

We then asked:

– “Did you find it odd that the ex-national team director of USA Swimming was applying for a desk attendant position? What was that job description? On its face, it sounds like he was checking members’ ID’s and rolling the dirty-towel bin to the laundry room. Did you think he was just down on his luck and could use a minimum-wage or entry-level job?”

– “Isn’t a fairly routine applicant-interview question the reason for leaving previous job? Was that question asked and how was it answered?”

– “Whether or not the word ‘duped’ is the one you would use, please share with our readers when you learned the full story of Uchiyama’s departure from USA Swimming and how you feel, in retrospect, about having been a party to his hire at the country club.”

If Snyder provides further clarification, we will publish it at once.

 

NEXT IN THIS SERIES: What did everyone — from USA Swimming CEO Chuck Wielgus on down to the public — know the truth about Everett Uchiyama, and when did they know it?