Today the eyes of American swimming are on three athletes with good shots at gold medals in Olympic finals: Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter men’s freestyle, Missy Franklin in the 100-meter women’s backstroke, and Matt Grevers in the 100-meter men’s backstroke.
But today is also supposed to be the day of USA Swimming’s “emergency hearing” in the matter of long-time top coach Rick Curl and his $150,000 “non-disclosure agreement” with a swimmer, the former Kelley Davies (now Currin), whom he molested repeatedly, beginning in 1983 when she was 13.
So far as I know, USA Swimming hasn’t said exactly where and when the hearing would be — perhaps it’s at the organization’s Colorado Springs headquarters or it is being conducted by transcontinental phone or Skype. But The Washington Post, which broke the Curl story last week, says the hearing is today.
Not even The Post’‘s Amy Shipley has yet reported clearly on what was so magical about the information USA Swimming just acquired. Online, The Post edited the original version of her story to delete a quote by a USA Swimming flack who said the emergency hearing process kicked in a week ago Friday when it came into possession of the 1989 Curl agreement with the Davies family. The Post’s current version replaces the quote with an indirect summary of USA Swimming’s rationalization for having sat on this horrible information for years, perhaps decades.
Following the 2010 investigation on ABC’s 20/20, it took Shipley two weeks to find Kelley Currin in Texas. It took USA Swimming’s investigator two years. She swam at the University of Texas and is not hard to find.
One of the core original purposes for Currin’s coming forward was to get Curl’s coaching credentials pulled. Yet while USA Swimming’s answer to Sam Spade searched for the bass fiddle in Curl’s closet, Curl was duly credentialed for the recent Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha.
Let’s just say that any fair-minded observer would conclude that USA Swimming announced an “emergency hearing” only because The Washington Post confronted it for comment.
Before I get to the “four questions,” let’s also hold the hands of any readers who might think my characterizing Curl as an unindicted statutory rapist is inflammatory. The Post published the non-disclosure agreement at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/sports/curl-settlement-agreement.html. The attachment to the agreement itself is a draft of the specifics of Davies-Currin’s allegations, which Curl has never denied:
– Beginning as early as March of 1983, at which time [Davies-Currin] was only thirteen (13) years old, and continuing until approximately September of 1986, [Curl] knowingly and intentionally abused his position of trust by sexually molesting and exploiting [Davies-Currin] on repeated occasions.
– On or about February, 1984, while in [Davies-Currin’s] home, [Curl] did exploit and sexually molest [Davies-Currin], who at the time was fourteen (14) years of age, by committing a sexual act, cunnilingus, upon her, at which time [Curl] was four (4) or more years older than [Davies-Currin].
– On or about April of 1984, [Curl], who was four (4) or more years older than [Davies-Currin] at the time, who at the time was fourteen (14) years of age, did exploit and sexually molest [Davies-Currin] by committing a sexual act, cunnilingus, upon her.
– On or about April 19, 1986, [Curl], while having the temporary care, custody and responsibility for the supervision of [Davies-Currin], who was sixteen (16) years of age, did sexually molest and exploit [Davies-Currin] by engaging her in intercourse and certain other sexual acts.
– On or about August of 1986, [Curl] entered [Currin-Davies] in a swimming meet in Mission Viejo, California and made the necessary arrangements for travel and lodging. [Curl] accompanied [Currin-Davies] to the swim meet, during which time he had the temporary care, custody and responsibility for the supervision of [Currin-Davies], who was then a minor child. On the occasion of this meet, while in California, [Curl] did sexually molest and exploit [Davies-Currin] by engaging her in an act of intercourse and other sexual acts.
The “four questions”:
1. What did executive director Chuck Wielgus and the rest of the leadership of USA Swimming know about the Curl case and when did they know it? There is evidence emerging that Curl was referenced when top officials of the organization were briefed on sexual abuse liability potential as early as the late 1990s. All this notwithstanding Wielgus’s play-dumb posture in a 2010 deposition (see https://concussioninc.net/?p=5797).
2. Why did Curl leave his coaching position at the University of Maryland in 1988, after only two years there? Did this have anything to do with abuse allegations against him?
3. Why did Curl move to Australia, 2005 through 2008? Did this have anything to do with abuse allegations against him?
4. In a 2010 email to a swimming parent, Hall of Famer swimmer David Berkoff – now a USA Swimming board member who defends Wielgus and the organization – wrote, “Denying knowledge of [REDACTED] 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 [REDACTED] swimmers that he was sleeping with [REDACTED] in 1988….” (See http://muchnick.net/omaha/berkofftochida.pdf.) Was Berkoff referring, in whole or in part, to Curl?