Monday, May 17, 2010

Former USA Swimming Vice President states that child protection policies within the sport are progressing too slowly!

Mike Saltzstein! I like this guy, I endorse this guy, I want him back on the USA Swimming board! I find no fault with any of his suggestions and criticisms and it completely baffles me why USA Swimming is taking months to implement a child protection policy when this guy took a fast weekend if that.

That is leadership; that is leading from the front ; that is not leading from the middle asking experts what to do and pretending to get ideas from outside youth organizations. Think about it. It has taken months! MONTHS! just to talk about a stopgap measure. Let that sink in a minute.

"Coach" Andrew king was sentenced to a few decades in prison in January of this year. That is 5-months, 2 news documentaries, and a couple articles in the New York Times questioning what the heck is going on with USA Swimming management.

Apparently USA Swimming is either hoping this will all be forgotten about and just go away or they are not confident enough in their abilities to come up with a worthwhile fix, albeit temporary or permanent.

If Chuck Wielgus was a school board president, would the public tolerate this slow-motion implementation, train wreck? No, they would not. People want fast answers to complex problems and the public isn't buying that it takes months to find solutions to problems that other organizations have solved. namely kindergartens accross America, The Boy Scouts, The Girl Scouts, et al.

I don't make my living from swimming and I know that Mike Saltzstein is not doing this as a career move for you know his name must be "mud" in Colorado Springs today.

Here is a news article from the San Jose Mercury News quoting him:

"No exceptions, no excuses, effective immediately," Saltzstein said.

Among his other recommendations: requiring: "good faith and reasonable suspicion" reporting of abuse as a condition of membership in USA Swimming; taking

disciplinary action and possibly terminating any staff member who fails to report abuse or excessively delays an investigation of abuse; requesting that Hall of Fame officials remove from its rolls any offender connected with USA Swimming; banning coaches from performing rubdowns, massages or physical manipulations "without specific recognized training or certification" — and never "in a one-on-one scenario."

To bring about change, Saltzstein said, the culture of the sport will need to change because it's a culture that bans parents from practices at many clubs and gives coaches too much power. When he and others through the years have tried to effect change, Saltzstein said, the strongest opposition has come from coaches.

Wielgus declined to discuss Saltzstein's recommendations or criticism.


The best part of Mike Saltzstein's suggestions is that is a "win-win-win" solution for both coaches, kids, and parents for who "Watches the Watchmen?" they all do.


rosie said...

In my google reader widget, that headline read -- "Former USA Swimming Vice President feels child"

Tony Austin said...


I gotta fix that. Thank you

Tony Austin said...

It's fixed - boy that was terrible.