by Irvin Muchnick
In a classic “Friday afternnoon bad-news dump,” as no doubt counseled by crisis communications specialists GroundFloor Media — from which USA Swimming’s 400,000 members should demand a refund of fees covered by their dues — Chuck Wielgus said, “I’m sorry.”
Don’t believe a word of what comes out of the criminal head of this dysfunctional, money-above-kids organization. Wielgus refers, for example, to the “groundbreaking Safe Sport Program” developed after the bad reviews of his defiant jackass interview on ABC’s 20/20 in 2010. The fact that it took him four years to say “I’m sorry,” in a forum timed to miminize attention to it, tells you all you need to know about the sincerity of the apology.
Far from groundbreaking, the Safe Sport program is an extension of the same bureaucracy of cover-up / PR / CYA that has been a hallmark of Wielgus’s 17 years as executive director of USA Swimming. Now it’s time for federal prosecutors to take a hard look at all the evidence, and for Congress to hold public hearings.
In the most telling line of his too-little-too-late mea culpa, Wielgus writes that recently, “For the first time, I began getting regular updates on specific cases and I started to grasp the depth of pain that others had suffered.” The implication is that his main shortcoming had been inattention to detail.
Baloney. The bulging cover-up files show that at every key step, Wielgus and his high-billing lawyers have always carefully directed the investigations of the most serious allegations of coach sexual abuse.
Those files include the devastating and unambiguous January 27, 2003, email in which Wielgus told a local swimming official inquiring about monster coach Andy King — who years later would be put away in California prison for the rest of his life — “This matter should be kept confidential.”
Concussion Inc.’s archives are full of evidence of Wielgus’s both little white lies and big black perjury. You can get started with the links below.
Complete links to Concussion Inc.’s coverage of the petition drive that forced the withdrawal of the Chuck Wielgus induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame are at “Chuck Wielgus Belongs in the Hall of Justice, Not the Hall of Fame,” https://concussioninc.net/?p=9233.
This week’s cover story in South Florida’s New Times, “An Underage Sex Scandal Leads to South Florida’s Swimming Hall of Fame,” is at http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2014-06-05/news/sex-scandal-swimming-hall-of-fame-fort-lauderdale/.