by Irvin Muchnick
Craig Lord, who carries water for American Swimming Coaches Association executive director John Leonard at a website called SwimVortex, has not peeped a word in Leonard’s defense after being challenged here on the supposed “documents” that would exculpate Leonard and ASCA in the matter of rapist former Irish Olympic swim coach George Gibney’s 1992 U.S. visa and 1994-95 job at USA Swimming’s North Jeffco club in Arvada, Colorado.
This silence may have something to do with the fact that said documents either don’t exist or are twisted to answer a question that wasn’t asked. Since Gibney indeed got the position in the Denver suburb, regardless of the hire’s back story, it is less than intuitive that he ever would have been complaining to Leonard that ASCA had done something that kept him from getting a job with a program in Colorado.
SwimVortex’s Lord might also be just as embarrassed as so many others inside swimming are to have to confront the story of Leonard’s stolen valor: his first-degree b.s. bragging to Sarah Ehekircher of 100-plus kills as a sniper in Vietnam. When asked about his military record in sworn court testimony, Leonard said no such thing — acknowledging that the closest he sniffed Vietnam duty was as a stateside U.S. Army reservist. It’s all of a piece not only with the easy lies insecure adults tell powerless kids under their supervision, but also with the overall paramilitary grandiosity that imbues the worst of CoachWorld. Leonard thus takes his rightful place of dishonor in the population known as “chickenhawks.”
This week Concussion Inc. has heard from two sources in Florida who corroborate Ehekircher’s account of Leonard’s Vietnam sniper drivel. They say these tall tales have long been part of the office rap of the ASCA boss. They also confirm, in the round, Ehekircher’s view of the ASCA office as a dysfunctional and hostile work environment — if not her specific anecdotes of Leonard’s direct sexual harassment of her in 2004. (The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they didn’t want to compromise friends still on the ASCA staff.)
For those of you just tuning in, here’s our coverage, in chronological order, of the grooming and abuse of Sarah Ehekircher by coach Scott MacFarland, her companion for seven years starting at age 17; of the kangaroo court 2010 USA Swimming investigation and National Board of Review hearing that exonerated MacFarland; and of Ehekircher’s perfectly symmetrical story of later being hounded by Leonard as his job applicant and employee. (At Magnolia Aquatic Club in Houston, where he now coaches, MacFarland goes by the name “James Scott MacFarland.”)