USA Swimming’s Prospective New Board President Mary Jo Swalley – And the ‘Mary Jo Swalley Rule’

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(This posts corrects a mistake in the original version. Mary Jo Swalley was never a board member of United States Sports Insurance Corp. She did, however, participate in at least one USSIC board meeting in Mexico.)


by Irvin Muchnick


The beleaguered USA Swimming, which is warding off various serious federal investigations and sexual abuse victims’ civil lawsuits, holds its annual Aquatic Sports Convention this week in Jacksonville. Coincidentally, that is the home of the scandal-ridden Bolles School, alma mater of Travis Tygart – head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and a lawyer who, while working in the early 2000s for Holme Roberts & Owen (since swallowed by Bryan Cave), was active in counseling cover-ups and slow walks of abuse horror stories.

Concussion Inc. will have more shortly on the crack clean-up efforts of Travis “No Comment” Tygart. Links to the Tygart series so far are at

In the meantime, we focus on an important piece of business at the USA Swimming convention: the election of a new board president. The frontrunner seems to be Mary Jo Swalley, the highly compensated executive director of Southern California Swimming and a long-time sport insider. The Facebook page for her candidacy is

When Congressional investigators and prosecutors talk to Swalley, they’ll be interested in her direct role in various scandals, both as a USA Swimming official and as an attendee of a board meeting of the organization’s wholly-owned Caribbean tax and liability laundromat, the “United States Sports Insurance Company.”

One of the big ones with Swalley’s fingerprints was the hush-hush 2006 departure of Olympic team coach Everett Uchiyama after a victim came forward. (Uchiyama soon dog-paddled down the road to the aquatic directorship of the Country Club of Colorado in Colorado Springs, where Swalley and others regularly held board meetings.)

But there’s low humor, too, in the prospect of a President Swalley. The Aquatic Sports Convention some years ago enacted a rule banning alcohol at all USA Swimming events. The reason: Swalley, at these soirees, had a way of getting soused and making a spectacle of herself. What is known as the “Mary Jo Swalley rule” was passed after she had a public beer-chugging contest with an athlete.

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick