by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
A central question in the scandals of swim coach Greg Winslow, at the Sun Devil Aquatics club on the Arizona State University campus, and at the University of Utah, is why ASU and Utah didn’t talk to each other.
Citing the police recommendation of felony charges against Winslow for sexual abuse of a minor, ASU is refusing comment on “a legal matter.”
Noting only that it is now investigating its previous failure to take seriously voluminous correspondence from athletes and families complaining about Winslow’s alcohol abuse, violence, harassment, and dangerous training methods, Utah likewise declines to elaborate on a single, sketchy, canned statement.
The website swimswam.com reported last week, “Sources close to the victim’s family tell us that the victim was not prepared [last fall] to sustain the fallout from publicizing her decision to pursue prosecution of Winslow for sexually abusing her. Given her concerns, she asked the ASU police to keep the report and investigation as confidential as possible until the investigation was complete.”
“Absolutely not” true, the father of the victim told us yesterday in an email. Once his daughter “decided she supported the investigation and wanted to press charges, it was in the hands of the police,” he said. That was last September.
The ASU-Utah dance of denial leads to a larger question: How, generally, do USA Swimming entities share information of allegations of sex crimes by coaches? This question fuels the analogy between the swimming establishment and the Catholic Church, both of which have been shown to allow pedophile authority figures to move to new programs and regions, while hiding their past records.
Concussion Inc. has embarked on a project to notify all swimmers and their families who were supervised by Winslow on his prior professional stops, and to find out what they have been told in connection with this national news story.
Our first findings, in the next post, concern Winslow’s very first coaching job after he graduated from the Unversity of North Dakota in the mid-1990s: Valley Dolphins Swim Team, which happens to be located in Colorado Springs — home of the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Swimming.