The Jones, Davis & Jackson law firm, which represents several families who were victimized in the Utah swim team scandal, gave us the following statement in response to yesterday’s university findings on how administrators handled complaints about coach Greg Winslow.
“The content and conclusions set out in the recent report (“Report”) issued by the University of Utah sanctioned investigative team regarding the University of Utah Womens’ and Mens’ Swim Programs (collectively, the “Utah Swim Program”), and by reference the University of Utah Athletics Administration, is not a surprise to those who have been interviewed by, or have interacted with, those who have acted on behalf of the University. Instead, the process, scope, findings and conclusions set out in the Report represent a profound disappointment and further evidence the dismissive attitude of the University of Utah to the significant, and at times, tragic events which have occurred in the Utah Swim Program, going back to as early as 2008.
“It is further troubling, and not without significance, that the investigative body elected, in the initial segments of the Report, to focus on the purported procedural aspects of the interviews rather than the substance of the issues. The Report promotes the false impression that there was a lack of cooperation by multiple student-athletes and their parents who were represented by legal counsel.
“In fact, the procedural process surrounding the failed negotiations of a written agreement outlining the ground rules for the conduct of a requested interview involved only one student-athlete and one parent of that student-athlete. That student-athlete (and parents), who have suffered as a result of the improper conduct of certain members of the Utah Swim Program Coaching Staff as well as various members of the Utah Athletics Administration, should not be further degraded for simply proceeding with caution into an unknown investigative process which could adversely affect potential legal rights and moreover, resurrect painful and emotionally distressful experiences. ( Paradoxically, if this purported failure to cooperate was such a critical issue and determinative for the Report and its conclusions, it is absurd to think or believe any definitive opinion, conclusions or recommendations could be rendered by the investigative team..)
“There are numerous aspects of the Report that require further comment to provide a balanced, contextual assessment of what occurred during this dark period in the history of the Utah Swim Program. These matters will be addressed in an appropriate forum and under circumstances that allow for a complete and unbiased recount of these events. In the end, this Report represents nothing more than a document commissioned by a governing body of the University of Utah, which was produced within certain mandates and guidelines issued by that governing body and conducted by contractors whose services were secured, and paid for, by the University of Utah. Consequently, the Report’s dismissive conclusions are not surprising, but rather expected.
“Ultimately, this Report has no bearing on the legal rights of the student-athletes and the families affected by this tragic series of events and circumstances. It is not and neither will be a deterrent to, nor the final word in, the search for truth in this matter.”