by Irvin Muchnick
According to the high school sports news network iHigh.com, the American Swimming Coaches Association will institute a formal code of ethics next September to address a rising number of claims against coaches for sexual abuse or harassment. See http://www.ihigh.com/eihss/article_183634.html. The article quotes executive director John Leonard and claims ASCA is the first major coaching group to take such a step.
As recently as August of last year, Leonard was making the preposteous statement to me that ASCA was not “an organization that deals directly with children, nor is that part of our purpose in any way, shape or form …” See “Does American Swimming Coaches Association Publish List of Coaches Banned for Sex Abuse? Exec Dir: ‘No.’ Why Not?”, August 10, 2012, https://concussioninc.net/?p=5862.
ASCA is also the group that gives predatory coaches a soft landing after they “resign” from USA Swimming positions, before their cases get investigated and they can land on the published list of those permanently banned for sexual misconduct. Hiding in plain sight on swimming’s secret “flagged” list, they then secure ASCA consultancies, instruction-manual writing deals, and associated patronage.
Like USA Swimming’s recent move to ban coach-athlete sexual relationships — a hand forced by the U.S. Olympic Committee’s threat to withdraw millions of dollars in funding for the swimming organization’s excellence centers — ASCA’s recognition that it is, indeed, an organization that just might have a teensy bit to do with the welfare of children comes way too little and way too late. The damage has been done and the federal government is investigating what the swimming establishment, for decades, has been covering up.