Utah’s Black Swimmer, the PVC Pipe, and Greg Winslow’s Motivating ‘Go Show Them You Are My Nigga’

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March 14, 2013
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March 14, 2013

Continuing with the theme of what both the University of Utah and the National Collegiate Athletic Association were being told about Greg Winslow’s monstrously out-of-control swimming program, we reproduce the full text of the statement provided to both by Karson Applin in January.

 

“Pre-Utah/Recruit”

Before looking at the University of Utah to start my next step in my swimming career and academic career, my senior year of high school set me up to go to practically any big swim school I wanted. I was a 3.8 student, never missed a day, and I am sitting in top 15 of my graduating class. In the pool, I captured two individual State runner-up titles and I had times that could easily compare to any 18 year old kid going to college on scholarship. During my recruiting process I received offers from William & Mary, Missouri S&T, Mizzou, Texas and Utah.

What really stuck out about the University of Utah was how relentless they were to try and get me on the roster. I received the once a week calls from the assistant coaches Charlie King and Marie Marsmen. There were even a few from Greg Winslow telling me how I would fit into the program, how my career would take off and pretty much how I needed to be there swimming. I took the offered campus visit where he said I will give you 50% of a scholarship. That seemed pretty nice for a high school student but thing was we still couldn’t afford it. In the next following weeks I told them about how I couldn’t afford school at the U and I would probably have to leave without finishing my degree. The next call from them was a full scholarship offer and that is where I signed.

 

“Getting to Utah”

From the first day walking on deck for Greg turned out to be a little different than what I am used to. He used the art of reverse psychology to try to motivate many swimmers to go faster for example on a set that I was doing fantastic at he walks over and tells me I have no heart and I will never get better. That is his motivation. Coming into his program, I was young and didn’t know any better so I did everything he asked me to do without ever complaining and no second guessing. So when my first Martin Luther King Day came around, I jokingly asked if I could miss the day. Well I assume it rubbed him the wrong way and in the middle of our one length underwater kick he asks me to get out. He grabs a PVC pipe about 4 feet long and tapes it to my back, arms and hands and tells me to get in. I begin doing the underwaters until I tell him I can’t anymore, he ignores me and has me keep going until I pass out.

Around this time, swimming becomes a little more stressful and intense so much to the point my grades begin to slip in the classroom. It has officially gone from student-athlete to just athlete because I am more afraid of what Greg will do if I have a bad practice than what I came here to really do. I thought I had seen all this man was capable of doing and saying until we went to TCU my sophomore year. Right before one of my big races, I go talk to him about what he expects me to do and how to do it. He then hits me with “Go show them that you are my nigga.” I am so shocked I couldn’t even respond to this so I walked away to the blocks.

 

“The End”

With my untimely and out of the blue removal from the team, I hit a roadblock with both my academic and swimming career. As far as academics after this semester is up and my scholarship expires, I will not be able to finish my degree because I was promised a fifth year after I was done swimming and I am on a five year plan. My family can’t afford the tuition because I have a younger brother leaving school this year to go off to school and my older brother is a special needs child so it’s hard. As far as swimming, it was taken from me. While with Utah my resume includes 5 school records, Olympic Trials qualifier, and top point scorer at championship meets. My plan was to continue swimming until the 2016 Olympic Trials because my 2012 run representing the University of Utah was not as successful as it could’ve been if my coach was fully invested like I was to make the program successful.

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