by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
For months we’ve been trying to get a word out of Oregon State University swimming coach Larry Liebowitz, or his wife and fired assistant, Mary Anne Gerzanick-Liebowitz, about their old friend Mark Schubert.
The Liebowitzes have information that would be useful in sorting out the lawsuit against Schubert — the dismissed and handsomely paid off head coach of our Olympic swimming team — by Dia Rianda, a former aide and big sport philanthropist. Rianda got axed at Schubert’s Golden West Swim Club when she started blowing the whistle on high-level cover-ups of coach sexual abuse.
Of course, at the appropriate time, Larry and Mary Anne also will be important witnesses in federal investigations of swimming’s pedophile culture and overall corruption. Perhaps subpoenas will help unseal their lips.
In addition to contacting the Liebowitzes, we’ve tried Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis and university president Edward J. Ray — and because OSU is in the middle of a governance reorganization, even the state’s governor, John Kitzhaber. After all, we don’t want OSU getting saddled with the kind of reputation the University of Utah now enjoys for its years-long cover-up of monster coach Greg Winslow.
With the state of Oregon making the news last week for Tualatin Hills’ 15th annual Paul Bergen-NOT Junior International Swimming Championships — named the previous 14 years for the Hall of Fame rapist coach but abruptly rebranded for this year’s edition — we pause for a review of Schubert’s relationship with Liebowitz and Gerzanick-Liebowitz. Theirs is yet another familiar set of transactions in competitive swimming’s hillbilly hell of business and personal incest.
Both Larry and Mary Anne worked with Schubert at his summer camp in Southern California as recently as 2011. The Liebowitzes should be well aware of the details of the sexual misconduct that got Schubert’s dirty-old-man assistant, Bill Jewell, a three-year ban from USA Swimming. It’s possible the Liebowitzes also have more of the lowdown on the Schubert-Jewell hire of a private investigator to snoop on the personal relationship between Sean Hutchison, the coach at the FAST program in Fullerton, and a world record holder swimmer there.
The Liebowitzes tote their own dirty laundry, too. Schubert steered some of his club swimmers to Oregon State, and later also helped engineer their transfers to other schools, such as Cal State Bakersfield. The Beavers program had gotten mired in allegations of misconduct by Mary Anne Gerzanick-Liebowitz, which got her dismissed by the university, Greg Winslow-style.
Remarkably, Gerzanick-Liebowitz remained through last year on the board of directors of John Leonard’s American Swimming Coaches Association — whose mission, Leonard has assured us, has nothing to do with children “in any way, shape, or form.”
(Nor do ASCA and USA Swimming have any other important links. Well, maybe except for the fact that USA Swimming Steering Committee meetings are on the calendar of ASCA’s annual conventions.)
Larry, Mary Anne, AD De Carolis, President Ray, Governor Kitzhaber … why don’t one of you give us a tinkle?