by Irvin Muchnick
Charlotte, North Carolina, youth swim coach Jamie Thomas seems poised to become permanently banned member No. 93 on USA Swimming’s list of coaches expelled for sexual abuse. Thomas is having one of those “emergency hearings” — the kind the organization announces at its total discretion, when a case reaches a threshold of publicity and it is advantageous to make the accused provisionally twist in the wind. See http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/10/01/4358084/charlotte-swim-coach-charged-with.html#.Ukx2XXazKph. Maybe we should call Thomas No. 92.5.
Congressman George Miller and the House Committee on Education and the Work Force, please take note.
Swimming’s selective list of bad guys started getting published after the ABC and ESPN investigations of 2010. The number of names has nearly tripled since then. Who will be the highly respected athletic disciplinarian and life mentor who takes this rogues’ gallery over the magic century mark?
I refer to the list as “selective” because USA Swimming and its profit-laundering and slush-fund-happy offshore subsidiary, the United States Sports Insurance Company, keeps multiple sets of books in this area. There’s the published list. There’s the “flagged” list of non-banned coaches, presumably in one of chief executive Chuck Wielgus’s desk drawers. There’s the conscientiously cross-checked research of vice president David Berkoff, who is opposed to covering up sex abuse except when he’s in favor of it. And there’s the “temporary banned” list.
More on all this as our series on swimming’s international abuse insurance scam resumes. For those of you who have missed the first five parts, see the link below.
Published September 19th, 2013