by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
In our introduction to the series on Florida club and high school swim coach Alex Pussieldi’s importing of Brazilian and Mexican athletes, and alleged secret videotaping of them in the bathroom while they were living with him, we mentioned his boss, Jack Nelson, head coach of the Fort Lauderdale Swim Team at the time (early 2000s). We also noted that Nelson himself, an International Swimming Hall of Famer, is accused by the even more legendary Diana Nyad of molesting her when she was 14.
There’s now plenty more evidence that Nelson helped direct USA Swimming’s cover-up of Pussieldi, who resigned at Fort Lauderdale in 2004 but kept various youth coaching posts in South Florida — as well as coaching and recruiting in his native Brazil, and running the Kuwaiti national team — for nine more years.
This article about Nyad’s allegations against Nelson, in the New Times of Broward/Palm Beach — describes a defamation suit by Nelson against another coach, Duffy Dillon, for spreading the Nyad story: “Jack and Diana,” June 14, 2007, http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2007-06-14/news/jack-and-diana/.
Here’s the passage that got our attention:
“The packet given to city commissioners paints an alarming picture of Nelson and some of the coaches he supervised. In 2004, a swimmer in Nelson´s program told Fort Lauderdale police that one of the coaches had child pornography on his computer and that the coach secretly videotaped male swimmers who lived with him as the swimmers undressed in a bathroom. The swimmer claimed he found a video camera hidden in an air conditioning vent. Another swimmer told police the same coach touched him inappropriately. According to the packet, Dillon told Nelson about the boys´ accusations, but Nelson did not go to police. Instead, Dillon´s wife did. Fort Lauderdale police conducted an investigation, but it dead-ended when the coach denied the accusations.”
Complete links to Concussion Inc.’s Pussieldi coverage, which began February 7, are at http://concussioninc.net/?p=8652.