by Irvin Muchnick
We asked Joel Stager, director of the Indiana University Counsilman Center for Science in Swimming, to shed some light on a questionable $23,000 USA Swimming grant the center received through the auspices of the American Swimming Coaches Association. What Stager gave us, instead of light, was enough smoke and mirrors to embellish a Ted Nugent concert.
Further questions were directed to Shelley Bizila, the research integrity officer at the university’s office of research administration. Bizila promised to get back to us.
“The Counsilman Center,” Stager huffed in an email to me yesterday, “is an independent center with unaffiliated views.”
That might depend on the meaning of “independent.”
A windy and rather sophomoric biography at the website of Stager’s Counsilman Center Indiana Swim Team notes that he “serves on the advisory board for USA Swimming and USMS Sports Medicine committee.” See https://www.teamunify.com/isccst/UserFiles/File/Joel%20Stager%20Bio.pdf.
USMS is United States Masters Swimming. As we explained here previously, USMS, the national organization of adult clubs, is also notorious as a way station for rapist coaches who have been banned – or, more commonly and unofficially, “flagged” – by USA Swimming.
While we explore the swimming establishment’s crack team of “independent” sports medicine and science experts, the watch continues for documents – including from the federal government bureaucracy – that are expected to surface soon in the generation-long saga of USA Swimming coach sexual abuse and cover-up.