Tim Ford, CEO of the Carlile Swim School, responded to my questions about the participation of three of its top officials in the lead program of this year’s American Swimming Coaches Association World Clinic in Las Vegas. That was good form on Carlile’s part, and at Ford’s request, I duly changed the reference to Carlile and disgraced rapist coach Rick Curl as “business partners,” which I agreed might have overstated the relationship
I also pressed Ford on the question of Carlile’s role in the ASCA event – regardless of how you characterize the Curl-Carlile relationship – during the current charged season of examination of sex abuse in organized swimming. That role is especially troubling, in my view, because of the documented history, in general, of ASCA’s active support of the continued employment in the swimming industry of abusive coaches, and in particular, of Curl’s ASCA coach of the year award and ASCA board presidency some years after what he had done to swimmer Kelley Davies became widely known.
“Carlile representatives’ attendance at the current conference is to share learnings and insights with respect to the commercial success of swim school operations. To link their presence at a Conference with the separate matter of how seriously the international swimming community is approaching the issue of youth coach sex abuse is inappropriate and unfair.
“Carlile has made its position on this issue very clear. We are committed to the highest standards of professional and ethical behaviour from all its employees. We have an unblemished record of operating under the most stringent child protection standards. We are extremely shocked and concerned to hear of the current allegations against Mr Curl.”