by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
Last night the board of directors of the Carson Tigersharks swim club met in Carson City, Nevada. This morning the team’s website still lists Dustin Perry as the head coach there. Unless otherwise informed, the public can assume that Perry will be on the deck this afternoon at the Carson Aquatic Center, conducting practice as he has done ever since he abruptly departed Pocatello, Idaho, late last year under the cloud of the latest USA Swimming investigation of him — “in progress” since last spring — on abuse allegations.
This is the same Dustin Perry who served an 18-month suspension on positive findings of similar charges in Edmond, Oklahoma — one of his half-dozen-plus club coaching stops in at least five regions of the country. Perry had started the Edmond team after getting kicked out of the local YMCA.
As for that “suspension,” it was served, at least in part, on a working holiday in Mexico, where Perry coached under Jack Simon, a member of the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Tomorrow, in Colorado Springs, another board meets — the directors of USA Swimming, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s national sport governing body under the Amateur Sports Act. The top agenda item is the submission by child-protection expert Victor Vieth of an “independent review” of the Safe Sport program under which Dustin Perry and other Dustin Perrys continue to roam free under cover of jobs headquartered in the public and private aquatic centers of America.
USA Swimming board president Bruce Stratton, who will call the meeting to order, must be taking great satisfaction that the $200,000 public relations and lobbying plan he and CEO Chuck Wielgus hatched in a memo last summer, with the goal of heading off federal investigations of the organization, is working so beautifully. After all, so far there has been no local media coverage of Perry in either Pocatello or Carson City. The crisis management consultants of Denver’s GroundFloor Media are earning their fees.
In the process, Stratton himself is successfully concealing his own long and deep ties to Perry. Stratton’s wife Patty is the treasurer of the USA Swimming club out of the Y in Boise, Idaho; Dustin and Bruce and Patty worked shoulder-to-shoulder on the board of Snake River Aquatics, the USA Swimming regional affiliate. In the swim world, protecting such figures, rather than kids, is what passes for participatory democracy.
Next, Concussion Inc. will resume the detailed chronicling of the weird comings and goings of Dustin Grant Perry — whose gainful employment and cover-up encapsulate everything that is hideously wrong with America’s amateur sports system.
PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS OF THIS SERIES: