While many people were horrified by conspiracy of silence that protected pedocoach Jerry Sandusky at Penn State, organized swimming is rife with cases of male coaches abusing young female swimmers.
Dia Rianda is suing former employer and USA Swimming coach Mark Schubert for wrongful termination. Rianda claims that her well-founded complaints about predatory activity by his close friend, elite coach Bill Jewell of the Golden West Swim Club, caused Schubert to dismiss her instead of investigating Jewell. Rick Curl has been sentenced for a long term abuse (youtube clip) starting when Kelly Currin was only thirteen. I’ve already posted a Cap and Goggles account that it was an open secret among the swim community for years.
I’m not sure where they got it, but Scaqblog has published Currin’s official statement after the recent sentencing of Rick Curl:
The sexual molestation committed by Rick Curl and subsequent payoff to silence me has been called the worst kept secret in the swim world. Yet today it is appalling that a number of people in positions of authority had the opportunity to take action against Rick Curl and each one of them failed miserably. Now that justice has been levied against Rick Curl, it is time to hold accountable USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus and Vice President David Berkoff, as well as former USA Swimming National Team Director and Hall of Fame coach Mark Schubert, for their actions in helping create a culture that protects predator coaches and vilifies young victims who have the courage to come forward.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote very convincingly for The New Yorker about how sexual predators are able to patiently navigate such bureaucracies to find and stalk their victims.
When monsters roam free, we assume that people in positions of authority ought to be able to catch them if only they did their jobs. But that might be wishful thinking. A pedophile … is someone adept not just at preying on children but at confusing, deceiving, and charming the adults responsible for those children …
But that is only part of the problem. I read once that no matter what the initial or stated mission, the primary imperative of most organizations becomes the survival of the organization itself – and personal survival is certainly the primary mission of most employees. When a transgression is discovered, it always matters how much power or influence the offender commands compared to the accuser. If the office boy is goofing off when he should be working, he might be fired. If the office boy reports the boss’s son for goofing off, he will certainly be fired. When the boss is goofing off, it is safer and easier for everyone to look the other way.