Golden West (California) College’s sham of an investigation of legendary coach Mark Schubert and his now-terminated sidekick Bill Jewell has taken a new turn with the filing of a claim by Dia Rianda against college president Wes Bryan. In what could be a precursor to a slander or libel suit, Rianda’s attorney Bob Allard says Bryan defamed Rianda when he declared that the institution’s private investigator had “exonerated” Schubert and Jewell of allegations of sexual harassment of and inappropriate behavior toward the teen club swimmers in their charge.
Swimmer-blogger Tony Austin had this one first. I direct you to his post Monday at http://scaq.blogspot.com/2013/04/new-drama-in-dia-rianda-lawsuit-against.html.
On behalf of Rianda, Allard also is complaining about the fact that USA Swimming inexplicably continues to leave open its own National Board of Review file on Schubert and Jewell’s alleged conduct-code violations. This returns us to the big picture.
Everything related to Rianda’s lawsuit against Schubert and his Golden West Swim Club, for wrongful termination and retaliation, is important. Schubert is a huge name in the sport’s history. His sacking by the U.S. Olympic Committee’s USA Swimming, accompanied by a multi-hundred-thousand-dollar settlement package, helped the continued concealment of dirty secrets — including Schubert’s and others’ clear knowledge of the three-decade-old molestations of a teen swimmer by another prominent coach, Rick Curl. Discovery in the Rianda lawsuit also has exposed Schubert’s involvement in the rancid business of hiring a private eye to track a rival coach’s relationship with one of his swimmers.
But with new scandals busting loose in Baltimore, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City, the immediate lesson from Golden West is the calculated shoddiness of internal swimming probes. The investigators running these operations are skilled at remembering who pays their bills; accordingly, the order of interviews, the framing of questions, and in many cases the very lists of witnesses contacted, proactively or at all, become automatic casualties. Remember all these factors the next time a college or university president, or any big-institution CEO, crows about how a “thorough and independent investigation” has resulted in the clear “exoneration” of him and his associates.