by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
It doesn’t get any more disturbing than the information that USA Swimming club coach Dustin Perry, while serving an 18-month suspension for sexual misconduct, simply traveled south of the border and worked during that period, through the American Swimming Coaches Association, with legendary coach Jack Simon in Mexico.
This irregularity is at the nexus of the relationship between the two organizations, which Congressional investigators of amateur sports abuse must be asking themselves about. Who runs our Olympic Committee-sanctioned national swimming program? USA Swimming — the national sport governing body? Or ASCA — the coaches’ trade association, whose executive director, John Leonard, told us his group does not deal directly with children “in any way, shape, or form”?
The same question arises in relation to Rick Curl, now in a Maryland prison for raping his teen swimmer Kelley Davies. Curl spent part of the intervening 30 years in Australia. When Curl got busted after he returned to this country and was spotted on the deck of the 2012 Olympic Trials, USA Swimming vice president David Berkoff pronounced himself “surprised” because he thought Curl was still in Australia — as if Curl’s being the immediate problem of the folks Down Under made everything OK.
Perry’s boss in Mexico, Simon, is, like Curl, in the ASCA Hall of Fame. Now well into his 70s, Simon has coached all over the United States and in at least five other countries.
FINA, the international swimming body, published a bio of Simon at http://www.fina.org/H2O/docs/development/coach/MAS_lecturer.pdf. We have not received a response to an email query to Simon. Nor could we get a call through to the phone number in this bio, which appears to be in Malaysia.
According to our sources, one of Simon’s many American coaching stops was the Tiger Sharks in Carson City, Nevada, where Dustin Perry is now the head coach after leaving his club in Pocatello, Idaho, in the midst of a new USA Swimming investigation of misconduct charges against him. We would like to ask Simon if he gave Perry a job reference in Nevada, in the same spirit in which Simon employed Perry during the latter’s year-and-a-half-long American exile.
Along with U.S. Masters Swimming, ASCA is a favorite soft landing spot of disgraced USA Swimming people, either banned or “flagged.” In addition to finding gainful Mexican employment during his exile, Perry was a 2007 “ASCA Fellow” — in the grand tradition of positively ID’d sexual predators Don King and Ad’m Dusenbury. And the recently and belatedly banned Mitch Ivey drew an income for years as an author of ASCA training literature.