by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
Concussion Inc. has received a copy of an email to University of Utah president David Pershing and other top officials, in which the father of the swimmer who spearheaded whistleblowing of the misdeeds of swimming coach Greg Winslow emphasizes a deadline of this Friday, March 15, for effective corrective action.
Utah first suspended Winslow, then cut ties with him, after news broke here on February 28 that he faces two felony counts of sexual abuse of a minor who swam for him at the Sun Devil Aquatics club program on the Arizona State University campus, before following Winslow to Utah.
Since then, a letter-writing campaign by Matt Fiascone, father of Utah swimmer Austin Fiascone, who was dismissed from the team by Winslow last November, has helped expose a wide range of complaints about the coach’s conduct across a period stretching back four years, as well as evidence that a university cover-up of Winslow’s conduct extended up to and including an investigation by the campus Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.
To an email list that includes philanthropist and university benefactor Jon Huntsman, Sr. — father of former Utah governor and 2012 presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Jr. — Matt Fiascone wrote on Sunday evening, in part:
“Based on the rapidly growing number of victims coming forward, I am rescinding my prior proposal for resolution. I am still willing to participate in good faith discussions either during your Tuesday meeting or at another mutually convenient time. My stated deadline of Friday March 15 for scheduling of such discussions stands as does my intent, should there be no discussions, to proceed down the path of organizing victims of Winslow as well as seek out potential victims in other University sports who suffered due to failings of the University.”
Fiascone added, “You have grossly underestimated this tragedy throughout. For the sake of your students, please don’t continue to do so.”
Fiascone said this latest move was prompted by his unsolicited receipt of a copy of an email sent to Utah president Pershing and athletic director Chris Hill (who also holds the title of special assistant to the president) on Sunday afternoon, from the father of a Utah swimmer who said he had “curled up in a ball” earlier Sunday — emotionally broken by the stress of competing under Winslow from the start of the final crisis of his tenure last fall, through the just-concluded Pac-12 championships, during which Winslow was abruptly dismissed.
In the last of a bulleted list of more than 20 questions to Pershing and Hill, this father asked, “Is there an abuse funding program?”