MomsTEAM.com has just published my follow-up article on the USA Swimming youth coach sex abuse scandal. Some additional thoughts on where this story is headed:
In 1994 the American Swimming Coaches Association named Rick Curl its coach of the year – 11 years after we now know (and know that much of the swimming community knew) that he had begun raping then 13-year-old Kelley Davies. The symbiosis between ASCA and USA Swimming is itself a fruitful line of inquiry. But let’s focus for now on Curl’s tenure at the University of Maryland, which ended without explanation in 1988 after a single season.
Those of us digging deep into the sordid history of the swim world’s enabling of coach statutory rape and molestation know that one of the next frontiers in this investigation is the evidence of the Penn State-like abdication of responsibility by many collegiate sports programs. Perhaps the most despicable aspect of institutional cover-ups is the way they have “normalized” sickening behavior. Jerry Sandusky groomed at-risk boys who became hangers-on at Penn State football facilities and road trips. But unaccountable swimming coaches have targeted their own athletes, who were by and large girls from two-parent homes.
My MomsTEAM piece also reveals how pervert coach Charles Arabas was able to glide seamlessly from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State) to Northern Arizona University (and its associated age-group club swimming program). While allowing Arabas to walk away from his Missouri job without a blemish on his record, the administrator who later would become university president allowed this note to be added to Arabas’s future job applications: “… Chuck already had paid a price for the allegations and … he has been sensitized to the power of sexual harassment complaints. Therefore, it is believed he will hereafter avoid any ambiguous behavior in which his motives can be questioned.”
It is mind-boggling to try to fathom the study of pedophile recidivism on which such a representation could have been based.