Sex abuse pervasive in USA Swimming


Sex abuse pervasive in USA Swimming

Youth swimming coaches, many certified by USA Swimming, the sport’s national governing body, have been able to molest young swimmers and then move from town to town, escaping criminal charges and continuing to victimize other under-aged swimmers, an ESPN “Outside the Lines” investigation has found.

ESPN found the abusive coaches, some of whom molested young swimmers for more than 30 years, avoided detection because of a number of factors: USA Swimming and other organizations had inadequate oversight, many local coaches, parents and swimming officials failed to report inappropriate contact they witnessed, and some parents, driven to see their children succeed, ignored or did not recognize what should have been red flags.

USA Swimming started requiring criminal background checks for its coaches in 2006 and those checks only screened for coaches who have been convicted of a felony. Andy King, 62, a veteran San Jose-area coach, pleaded no-contest last year to 20 molestation charges and is serving a 40-year sentence for more than 30 years of abuse. But King passed USA Swimming’s background check and was arrested only because a 14-year-old swimmer in his care stepped forward last year and reported him for molesting her more than 100 times.

“The first time, I was in shock,” the girl, now 15, told ESPN. “I didn’t know what was happening, I didn’t know what was going on or why did he choose me? I didn’t know what to do, if I should tell him to stop, cause if I told him to stop what if he hurt me?”
The girl’s father said despite his daughter’s bravery in coming forward, the family continues to be haunted by the abuse.

They really should do away with celibacy for swimming coaches.

You can bet this will be front page of the New York Times

Well it doesn’t give me any peace to know that abuse is so pervasive in so many corners of society. But yes, I doubt the AP will dissect this and run a new headline on it every day for the next few weeks. I will pray for these abuse victims, and all victims. God, have mercy on your servants.

I think people have higher expectations regarding morals from priests, which is why the abuse in the Catholic Church gets so much press.

Having said that, there is a cult-like fanaticism on many swim teams. My boys participated for a few years, and it’s a rigorous and demanding sport. Somehow, this news doesn’t surprise me.

Surprised me. 20/20 did a segment on this last Friday, and I was shocked how little background checking USA Swimming did/does on the coaches they hire. It had very little to do with the sport itself, but that it was so easy for the abusers to get hired.

One problem in both The Church and sports like swim team is the pedestal that priests and coaches are put on. On swim team the coaches are former competitive swimmers, similar to wrestling coaches. They are adulated by swimmers and their parents, similar to the way parishioners look up to priests.

It’s a different dynamic than, say, Little League or soccer.

don’t expect massive lawsuits against the US Swim governing body unless they have deep pockets and plenty of assets. A parent who knew about this and allowed it to continue should occupy an adjacent jail cell with the offending coach.

Of course it will. :rolleyes:

You must have experienced a much more competitive swimming atmosphere than we have. My daughter has been on the local swim team for the past two years, and its less intense. Most of the coaches don’t get paid that much to stick around for very long. Its more a volunteer position than say a high school wrestling coach. Most are just instructors at the local YMCA.

Sex abuse prevalent in society as a whole! Does not make abuse by Catholics OK!

No on is suggesting it is okay of course

But as it is more prevelant according to data in other religious and secular groups why is the focus almost exclusivly on the Church?

Because of the cover ups! Because an organization which goes against social norms by believing in priestly celibacy the sinfulness of homosexuality is having trouble with both of those things!

What about all the cover ups in America’s schools where abuse is 100x that of Catholic Priests according to the author of a 2004 report comissioned by the US dept of Education?

Most abuse it caused by married, not celibate, men. The Church is not having a problem with celibacy. The majority (80%) of those abused by priests have been male

Just becuase something may be the norm doesn’t make it right.

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