In the wake of a devastating series of reports by Scott Reid of the Orange County Register about the toxic, bullying culture of the University of California-Berkeley women’s swimming program under Teri McKeever — onetime head of the U.S. Olympic team staff — the most successful female coach in the sport’s history could be through.
If even a fraction of the massive allegations of McKeever’s (non-sexual) abuse of her athletes across decades are true — throwing equipment at them, refusing to acknowledge and properly treat their injuries, and even driving several of them to contemplate suicide (one swimmer says she was mocked to her face when she directly told McKeever of almost killing herself) — then she deserves to be through.
I come here, however, not to make a judgment on Teri McKeever’s employment future. That is the task, at least officially, of the San Francisco law firm of Munger, Tollos & Olson, which was recently named to conduct an “external investigation.” Exactly how much a public university pays for a job like that, out of its state legislature allocations, ever-rising tuition fees, real estate holdings and hedge fund investments, is unknown. University spokesperson Dan Mogulof told Salon: “We cannot anticipate the costs of an ongoing investigation. In addition, as a matter of policy, we do not release total expenditures until a firm’s work is completed.”