Thursday, April 15, 2010

Diana Nyad for KCRW, and this is The Score: "I also am a victim of sexual abuse by my swim coach."

I got an email from a reader this evening who is either a nationally recognized swim coach or a person that shares the same name.

Bob Bowman, wrote me today and said I had a great blog. Suddenly I felt like a stupid jerk after all the bad spelling, sketchy grammar, and all those tech suit insults I "spit" at him during World Championships last August. Hopefully it is just someone who shares the same last name.

Mr. Bowman pointed me to a, Diana Nyad, weekly commentary she does weekly for our public radio station here in Los Angeles called KCRW. The commentary is called: The Score and in her commentary she dropped this bomb:

"... I also am a victim of sexual abuse by my swim coach. USA Swimming conducted an investigation on my case and reported to me, after months of extensive interviews, that although my recounting of the events was entirely credible, they could not establish the kind of evidence that would support a criminal prosecution. And short of criminal proceedings, they deemed it inappropriate to keep him from coaching young girls up and down the coast of Florida, where he molested many.

It seems to me, whether it be the Catholic Church or USA Swimming, that when multiple reports of a predator are credible and consistent, there must be some action to keep these deviants from their easy access to impressionable young people who are often away from their families and look up to these preachers, teachers, and coaches as veritable demi-gods. There must be actions when criminal prosecution is not a possibility. ..."


It's official - USA Swimming has been branded!

Even the victims are using the Catholic Church analogy and when a group of people who don't know each other start using the same analogy, that says you have "brand" and the "USA Swimming swim coach" has become the "logo."

This is like a "4-alarm fire" or "Def con 1!"

USA Swimming needs to hold a child protection summit. Maybe it is a week long, maybe two weeks long. These sorts of people should be invited to speak: Diana Nyad, the victims themselves, the police, and of course Children Services all offering suggestions as to adopt procedures which put this subject "six feet under."

USA Swimming would then adopt the recommendations within reason and then tell the world not only is their new policy the true gold standard, but it is "Fort Knox," baby!

This too would send a message to pedophiles that the parents are involved, the kids know the rules about touching, grabbing and one-on-ones etc., and that USA Swimming is looking to put as many heads on a pike that they can find.


Ahelee said...

Like the waves in the ocean...
There are so many tha have come and gone. And there will be more.

We have to gather around and support the swimmers - and our GOOD coaches.

Pat said...

It's pervasive throughout the swimming community. As much as I want to throw the pedophiles to the wolves, literally, we need to remember than parents absolutely MUST be involved in their child's activities. The time is gone where a parent could drop their child off at a swim practice, church, school, etc. and not check in. Parents absolutely have to know who their child is in contact with. And the nice coach who is paying so much attention to your child may not be so nice. Extra attention and physical touching should be red flags to all parents.
The cat is out of the bag.

Tony Austin said...

33% of the parents suck...50% are average...17% are good. Therefore, USAS simply needs to install policies that protect coaches and kids from abuse or false allegations and then educates all of the above how to stay safe or bulletproof.

It has to be done or the management will lose their jobs.

flipdip said...

I was disappointed that Chuck Wielgus only ever started looking properly? into it when the press picked up on it. That illustrates a big problem with him.

Prevention not cure.

Tony Austin said...

They are not moving fast enough on this problem; (are they moving at all.) and it is very sad.

Tony Austin said...

I want to add something about Diana Nyad, she had a hip rotation built into her stroke before all the cool kids were doing it.

I watch a special on her and I was amazed at her stroke mechanics.

I wish somebody would talk her into swimming a masters meet.

Anonymous said...

what was the end of the email address of Bob Bowman? what is after the @ ?

Tony Austin said...

I appreciate the detective work but I am not going to say, since if it is the real deal, I don't want to violate his privacy.i am leaning towards that it could not be the actual person, especially all the stuff I said about suits.

Anonymous said...

For the record, I am the Bob Bowman who has been swimming with SCAQ for 13 years, not the other one.

As far as Diana Nyad dropping a "bomb" on USA Swimming is concerned, I clearly remember her talking about her coach's behavior in a KCRW commentary back in the 90's, maybe even the late 80's. And still USA Swimming didn't institute its current so-called screening policy until 2006.

Never underestimate the power of denial.

Tony Austin said...

Ok, Bob, knock it off.... we really know it's you... So, how is Michael hanging these days?

Hahahaha! Just kidding... Robert clarified it with me about an hour ago. The sender is not Coach Bowman, my apologies for not asking beforehand.

Robin said...

Parent involvement can only go so far to protect a child against someone determined to abuse a child. How could parents have foreseen and stopped the illicit locker room videotaping, for example, short of storming through the locker room and tearing it apart with a fine-tooth comb before ever letting their children in there? As parents, we must do what we reasonably can - but we should also have the organization supporting that effort, not pretending there's no problem but that if there were, it would be all the parents' problem to detect and handle. If you KNOW someone is a molester, you DON'T allow them to be in any position of leadership for children. No ducking that.