Matt Fiascone, the father of former University of Utah swimmer Austin Fiascone, has given Concussion Inc. the following statement and supporting information, which we are publishing intact.
Below you will find an email from an employee of the University of Utah to Karson Applin advising him that his scholarship will remain in place through his graduation. It is a welcome result for all of us who are a part of the quest for justice on behalf of many victims of abuse at the hands of Greg Winslow. Someone at the University apparently is starting to acknowledge their responsibility to their student-athletes.
Amazingly though, even while under scrutiny, the University cannot exercise control to a level that their students deserve. The staff member who wrote this apparently took direction from Dr. Hill (as referenced in the email) yet Dr. Hill either did not bother to have the communication reviewed or felt that this scholarship was a “prize” that Karson was lucky to receive rather than something the University owed him. This lack of oversight is exactly the reason the University finds itself in the situation it is in. Arrogance on behalf of the administration toward athletes and parents over the course of years continues to be displayed. Surely Dr. Hill, Dr. Pershing and the multiple attorneys involved on behalf of the University did not want to “congratulate” Karson for being a victim. Yet, even when given the chance to amend the communication, they chose not to (see my email below).
Among the many similarities in the various victims’ stories is the total lack of respect paid by the University to the student-athletes. Instead the coach was protected repeatedly and without exception.
Action needs to be taken, changes need to be made and victims need to be compensated. NOW.
From: Matt Fiascone
Date: Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM
To: David Pershing [university], Robert Payne [university chief legal officer]
[Cc to 11 others, including athletic director Chris Hill, National Collegiate Athletic Association president Mark Emmert, and Jon and Karen Huntsman Foundation president Jon M. Huntsman Sr.]
The below email advising Karson Applin that he will have a scholarship through his graduation can be construed to be many things: a first step in addressing the many victims of Greg Winslow, an acknowledgement of responsibility, an admission of complicity, etc. It most certainly can not be characterized as contrite, apologetic or the effort of an athletic department that exercises reasonable control in an effort to protect the welfare of its student-athletes. Does the University of Utah really want to “congratulate” Karson? Do you consider him to be lucky to have been the victim of racial hatred and verbal and physical abuse and still have the “great” result of receiving what he was entitled to—an education?
I will withhold releasing this email to the media (and you will note I have not copied them as I have on recent communications) until Monday morning to give you time to restate this communication to convey the message more appropriately. I also hope that you take the opportunity to address his eligibility to participate in NCAA swimming as well as address the concerns of all other victims.
Matthew G. Fiascone
From: Tivra Marks
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2013 4:52 PM
To: KARSON TAYLOR APPLIN
Cc: Chris Hill
I just left you a voice mail but wanted to email as well in case this is the best way to reach you.
Dr. Hill just informed me that your scholarship will continue through till graduation. Congrats.
So I would like to help get you registered for classes and discuss your options again. We had talked about getting the Human Factors certificate with your psych degree. Please call me so we can schedule a time. I also have sign up sheets on my door since I’m doing everyones summer registration. You’re welcome to sign up with me that way.
Look forward to working with you and getting you graduated!
Academic Support Services for Student-Athletes
University of Utah Athletics Department