Connecticut Swim Coach Arrest Takes Sex Abuse Story Closer to Zero Degrees of Separation

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Later this week I’ll be publishing an important breakthrough story in the national swimming sex abuse investigations. In the meantime, another cell of coach molestation has been found in Connecticut — a dateline that needs no elaboration these days.

Westport’s Connecticut Post reports that Jeffrey Schare, the popular swim coach at Staples High School, was arrested yesterday after confessing to sexually assaulting two young girls for more than three years. See http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Staples-High-swim-coach-charged-with-sex-assaults-4125248.php.

Schare also coached at the OMNI club out of Yale University, a USA Swimming affiliate, and was a member of Connecticut Swimming, the national organization’s LSC, or “local swim club” consortium. That information is courtesy of my journalistic colleague Tim Joyce, who — get this — is an alumnus of Staples High School.

As layer upon layer of the dozens, scores, of examples of the poor oversight of USA Swimming come to light, a three-degrees-of-separation phenomenon kicks in. Just last week, I ran into the mother of one of my daughter’s old Bear Swimming teammates at a local Starbucks. The mom told me of how, a couple of years after Bears coach Jesse Stovall pleaded no contest to the statutory rape of his star swimmer, whom he was chaperoning at a national meet in Florida, the mom moved her son to another program in the East Bay near San Francisco: the Oakland Undercurrents. And then the coach there, Ben Sheppard, promptly became awash in abuse charges (see “Oakland Swim Coach Hit With Allegations of Misconduct,” East Bay Express, September 7, 2011, http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/oakland-swim-coach-hit-with-allegations-of-misconduct/Content?oid=2979574).

This is a story without end — until parents do something to end it.

 
Irv Muchnick

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