Barry Nadell, the entrepreneur who owns the website and business name “Hooking Up With Tawnie Lynn,” while doing some consulting on the side for USA Swimming’s safe sport program — or is it the other way around? — called me back Sunday.
“I was caught off guard when you called Friday,” explained this self-described “wealthy man.”
Here is what he would like us all to know about HookingUpWithTawnieLynn.com: “Basically I met with some people and decided last year to be a financier and producer of what we’re going to do as an online talk show. It’s been in development for a long time. The way these things work, I don’t even know if we’re going to end up doing it.”
Should the show indeed make it to a mobile device near you, the hostess is expected to be the Los Angeles model and actress Tawnie Lynn — hence the name registration. At http://tawnielynn.com, you can see her. A lot of her, in fact.
“Tawnie Lynn is somebody I met,” Nadell told me. “The show would be about the ups and downs of dating. I’m not in the pornography business. I don’t go to strip clubs. I’m just someone who has been an investor in different things, and dating is a hot subject.”
Regarding his work for USA Swimming, Nadell said his records show that he last consulted for the organization, via a brief phone conversation, about a month ago. He started advising the organization, with billing on an hourly basis, around June 2010. He said he billed all of three hours total last year.
“We talked about the program they currently had and whether it needed some revisions. The changes took a lot of time to implement, through conversations and board approval. They asked me to help them find a new vendor. They wound up choosing a company called Axiom [https://www.axiomscreeningsolutions.com]. I was the go-between.
“Honestly, I don’t remember a lot of it. I know we instituted a program for continual updates of criminal checks. In the past they used to do a single check and that was the end of it. We also instituted broader criminal checks, going to counties and residences that people lived in, where they lived in the past, and so forth.”
Nadell said he knew nothing about Charles Baechler, the Washington State rapist judge who became a swimming coach and official in South Dakota; or James Pantera, the con man by many different names, featured in a front-page newspaper story linked from the top page of a Google search, who was approved for a new USA Swimming club in San Diego before dissident ex-vice president Mike Saltzstein exposed him. “I’ve never heard these names at all. They have not called me to ask me anything related to these individuals, and I’m a phone call away.”
Nadell didn’t care to join me in analyzing what I and many other observers feel has been a catastrophic failure in the protection of child athletes from potential sexual predators. No system is perfect, he pointed out.
“I didn’t talk to anyone at USA Swimming before calling you,” Nadell said. “They would probably say to me, don’t talk to any reporters, but I’m not telling you anything I don’t believe. I’m an elderly guy who does occasional consulting. That’s all.”
That’s enough. Some stories don’t require much commentary. USA Swimming started coach background screening in 2006, but case after case shows that the operation is inept, negligent, maybe fraudulent. There is soft money for “experts” like Nadell. There is hard money for staffers, such as “safe sport director” Susan Woessner. But even in the wake of Baechler and Pantera, there is no apparent locus of responsibility or accountability — only the rearguard-action assurance that the members of our national youth swimming program need not worry their pretty little heads over the proprietor of HookingUpWithTawnieLynn.com.