by Irvin Muchnick
On January 3 we told the story of Sun Devil Aquatics, where fired monster University of Utah swim coach Greg Winslow had molested 15-year-old Whitney Lopus back in his club days, getting kicked out of the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center on the Arizona State University campus. See https://concussioninc.net/?p=8454.
Concussion Inc. now has acquired the long December 31 letter in which the club’s owner, Mike Chasson (also the former ASU head coach; also the husband of former USA Swimming National Board of Review chair Jill Johnson Chasson, who married Mike after he coached her at Stanford), explains to Sun Devil Aquatics families both the move out of ASU and the team’s merger with Mesa Aquatics. You can view the document at http://muchnick.net/chassonletter.pdf.
Chasson’s bulletin to his dues payers comes off somewhat grimmer than the rosy account he gave Swimming World. He complains that ASU sandbagged him:
“ASU’s sudden termination of this relationship created a serious challenge to our club and
its swimmers. Nor does that end the pressure being applied by ASU and its lawyers: the
University also has demanded that we stop using the name Sun Devil Aquatics, asserting
that it infringes on their ‘Sun Devil’ trademark, even though we have used the name for
more than 15 years without complaint and even though there are many other businesses
in Arizona that have the name ‘Sun Devil’ in them.
These actions, taken as a whole, raise serious concerns that the University is trying to put
our club out of business….”
As we wrote last week, the ASU scenario could become part of a trend in which landlord institutions start running scared from the unchecked and liability-filled abuses of their swimming tenants. The shape of these relationships between USA Swimming clubs and public facilities is one more reason why investigation of the big business of this and other amateur sports has become a federal case.