Yesterday brought the news that Noah Rucker has plea-bargained his indictment for sex with a girl he coached on a high school team. Rucker most recently coached under Rick Curl at the Washington-area Curl-Burke Swim Club.
When a criminal complaint against Rucker surfaced last spring, USA Swimming announced an “emergency hearing” on his coaching credentials.
Weeks later at the Olympic Trials in Omaha in late June 2012, when I approached USA Swimming public relations director Karen Linhart with a question about the status of the Rucker hearing, she threatened to have me thrown out of the CenturyLink Center, on emergency charges of audacity.
It was also during the Trials that former swimmer Kelley Davies, now Kelley Currin, learned that Rick Curl was still prowling the deck — months after she personally divulged to a USA Swimming investigator the details of his molestations of her, which had begun almost 30 years earlier and were widely known by top officials and a good chunk of the swimming community for at least 20. Over the ensuing months, Curl’s lawyer engineered an administrative consent decree whereby he “accepted” a lifetime USA Swimming ban. Shortly after that, Curl was arrested in Montgomery County, Maryland, and he now faces criminal charges in the Davies case.
(Meanwhile, don’t you continue to go calling his organization the Curl-Burke Swim Club [CUBU]. Everyone knows that it’s now the Nation’s Capital Swim Club [NCAP]. In a front-page fresh coat of paint last month, The Washington Post ID’d NCAP as the vortex of the area’s “deep talent pool.” Ever alert to priorities, The Post also mumbled that Curl was not around any more due to “allegations” of a “relationship.”)
Back to Noah Rucker and his “emergency hearing.” USA Swimming publishes on its website a list of banned coaches that gives fresh meaning to the phrase “tip of the iceberg.” Rucker still isn’t on it.
NEXT: More on the rapist former judge who became a club coach and state swimming official in South Dakota and was named head coach at a team in USA Swimming’s backyard in Colorado — before the club was alerted and sent him away, but without filling in anyone else about his newly beefed-up “background check.”