* Part 1, David Berkoff: http://concussioninc.net/?p=8474
by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
(This article is adapted from a post on April 18, 2012: http://concussioninc.net/?p=5519.)
Swimming legend Pablo Morales, who like David Berkoff won a gold medal in the 1992 Olympics, disputed the account of Berkoff that they ever discussed the sexual abuse of Kelley Davies or other swimmers.
Again, Berkoff’s July 26, 2010 email to parent activist Jeff Chida:
“Denying knowledge of Rick Curl, Mitch Ivey and others banging their swimmers! It’s a flat out lie. They knew about it because we (coaches and athletes) were all talking about it in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s. I was told by several of Mitch Ivey’s swimmers that he was sleeping with Lisa Dorman in 1988. I heard the whole Suzette Moran story from Pablo Morales over a handful of beers and nearly threw up. I was told Rick Curl was molesting Kelly Davies for years starting when she was 12 by some of the Texas guys. That was the entire reason I formed the abuse subcommittee. I was sick and tired of this crap. No one was standing up. No one was willing to take on these perverts.”
Told of Morales’s denial, Berkoff rebutted it with specifics.
Here is the full text of Morales’s April 16, 2012 email to Muchnick:
Thank you for checking up on your facts.
1) I have absolutely ZERO recollection of having sat down with David Berkoff “over a handful of beer” for any occasion, much less to engage in a conversation about coaches who were having inappropriate relationships with their swimmers. I can honestly say that socializing “over a handful of beers” is something which I have not done frequently in my lifetime so I feel like I would have a better than average chance of recalling instances where something like this occurred. Though I know David, I simply cannot recall any instance when he and I sat down over beers.
2) Any statement attributed to me having any knowledge of the named coach is patently false. First of all, I was never coached by this individual so by this fact alone, I could have absolutely no knowledge of his conduct or ability to even make such a statement. Secondly, though his name is familiar to me, this is a person I knew only as someone who coached in the area. As I write this now, my recollection of him is fleeting. It makes no sense to me that I would have been engaged in a conversation about this man with anyone, much less claim to be knowledgable about such details of his personal life.
3) As I write this, I have no knowledge of (first-hand, second-hand, or any type) that he has engaged in, nor have I ever recalled that he has been accused of engaging in (your email is the first I have heard of it), this behavior.
I am dumbfounded by the claim that such a conversation occurred. I know David and I like him. My only guess is that he may be confusing the person with whom he had this conversation.
Again, thank you for checking up. Needless to say, I do not expect that my name will be mentioned as someone who had knowledge of, or claimed to have, knowledge of this person’s conduct.
Pablo Morales | Head Coach
University of Nebraska Swimming & Diving
In a subsequent telephone interview, Berkoff stood by his statement. He said he had the conversation with Morales at a restaurant in Orlando, Florida, in 1988, and British swimmer Adrian Moorhouse was with them. (Reached by email, Moorhouse did not clarify the matter.)
Next in this series: Dick Shoulberg