Cover Your Ass With Both Hands: USA Swimming Adds Disclaimer to List of Banned Coaches

Published May 18th, 2012, Uncategorized

USA Swimming, custodian of the country’s youth competitive swim clubs, in which 12,000 coaches supervise 300,000 kids, has again responded boldly … NOT! … to latest developments in its long-running sex abuse scandal.

Here’s how the Colorado-based swimming arm of the U.S. Olympic Committee appears to have processed the news this week of two new arrests of coaches. The published list of coaches who are banned for conduct code violations now includes this disclaimer:

“The fact that an individual’s name does not appear on this list does not necessarily mean that he or she is eligible for membership in, or in good standing with, USA Swimming.”

For those of you catching up, Christopher Johnson, a head coach of two now-defunct USA Swimming clubs in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was arrested this week at Oakland Middle School in that city, where he was student-teaching, for soliciting sex from a 12-year-old student. Johnson had left at least one of his coaching positions under the cloud of similar allegations.

And Kenneth Fuller, the swimming coach at Bayard Rustin High School in Chester County, Pennsylvania – who also coached for USA Swimming’s club in Malvern – was busted after allegedly faking a doctor’s note for a student, taking her to a hotel, plying her with alcohol, and having sex with her.

Neither Johnson nor Fuller is on the USA Swimming banned list, which the organization started publishing after the 20/20 expose two years ago. But no worries – executive director Chuck Wielgus and safe sport director Susan Woessner are surely all over those coaches’ files now that they have culminated in public criminal charges.

The USA Swimming banned list did grow by two this week, to 63. The group also had added one new name in February, as well as, in March,, the upstanding citizen described by Swimming World magazine as “the much-publicized Bryan Woodward of Florida.”

 

Irv Muchnick

 

PENN STATE IN THE POOL: The Cover-Up of the USA Swimming Youth Coach Sex Abuse Scandal is available on Amazon Kindle at http://amzn.to/JoS53m, or as a plain PDF file by sending $1.49 via PayPal to paypal@muchnick.net.