by Irvin Muchnick and Tim Joyce
By our exposure of Alex Pussieldi cover-up queen Sharon Robb of the Sun-Sentinel, we don’t mean to imply that she was all alone in allowing this guy to roam free on the pool decks of Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Plantation, and other points, both inside and outside Florida, for nine additional years after the first allegations of his heinous misconduct publicly surfaced.
Robb had plenty of accessories. So far, however, the others seem more like enablers – fellow non-journalist journalists who played the suck-up game and asked no questions. It is this culture – kowtowing to the cult of the coach, and promoting “the Olympic brand” instead of writing facts and analysis – that keeps USA Swimming sex abuse in the closet.
Cracking the taboos surrounding open discussion of the way-too-many youth swimmers who have been molested by their coaches, and of the continued endangerment of America’s 400,000 club swimmers under the criminal leadership of USA Swimming, is the grim but noble task of Congressman George Miller, the California Democrat who is ranking minority member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.
For instance, there’s also Linda Robertson, a sports columnist for the Miami Herald, who profiled Pussieldi in a July 2012 piece headlined “Different Strokes: International swimmers practice in Davie for the Olympics.” See http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/08/2886622/different-strokes-international.html.
This was almost exactly a year before Nova Southeastern University kicked Pussieldi’s Davie Nadadores off the campus following complaints that the many foreign swimmers he housed there were completely unsupervised. In July 2013 Pussieldi (now an on-air talent for Brazilian television but apparently still with a residence in Fort Lauderdale) also would “retire,” one step ahead of the law. Florida Gold Coast Swimming, a regional affiliate of USA Swimming, was about to suspend Pussieldi on the basis of years of allegations that he illegally recruited and shuttled foreign athletes into his local competitive program.
Concussion Inc.’s reporting also has established that Pussieldi personally housed some of these foreign athletes, and that his 2004 interaction with Fort Lauderdale police – on a complaint of a physical assault lodged by one of his wards – got no traction in news coverage. Pussieldi simply quit the Fort Lauderdale Swim Team and resumed plying his wares with Pine Crest School, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, and his own Davie program. In addition, he continued to travel and coach abroad, especially in Kuwait, through the good offices of global athletics profiteer Dale Neuburger, the former USA Swimming board president who helped construct the organization’s offshore insurance scam-firewall.
Needless to add, you’ll read about none of this in the Miami Herald. “Swimmers from 53 countries have found a second home at this global hotspot in west Broward as members of the Davie Nadadores club. Coach Alex Pussieldi not only trains them but he also accommodates their multicultural needs,” Robertson gushed.
When he retired under duress last year, the first words of the article at SwimSwam.com were, “The great Alex Pussieldi …” The story made no reference to Florida Gold Coast Swimming proceedings. Some months later, SwimSwam would allow, without elaboration, that the Davie Nadadores “sort of fell apart.”
Not to be outdone, Swimming World magazine named Pussieldi its “Brazil correspondent.” We wonder whether this USA Swimming shill sheet has even yanked his credentials yet.
Next here: What the Fort Lauderdale police are saying (or not saying) about the complete blowoff of the 2004 Pussieldi case by the two investigating officers. Complete links to Concussion Inc.’s Pussieldi investigation are at https://concussioninc.net/?p=8652.