Friday, October 01, 2010

USA Swimming: "There is a new sheriff in town and her name is Susan Woessner!"

The photo is not, Susan Woessner, but rather, Sharon Stone, portraying a gunfighter in the movie: The Quick and the Dead! It's the scene when Stone's character is running down the street in the rain shooting her Smith and Wesson at a pedophile who is doing likewise.

The pedophile lost!

Susan Woessner is USA Swimming's Sharon Stone.

My advice to "Sharon" is to set up a process that protects both the coaches and the victims from sexual abuse and false allegations. That USA Swimming take a more active roll in preventing one-on-ones. That parental involvement on deck is mandatory, i.e. a parent or two in the stands for each workout. That guidelines be drawn up to prevent punishment sets, that guidelines be created for ethical parental behavior so as to avoid "little league syndrome", and that it becomes mandatory for age group swimmers, families, and coaches get the education they need so as to socially interact in a positive way.

From Swimming World:
Do you see yourself as an advocate for those who have substantial complaints, and if so, how does that not conflict with a coach or member who is party to the complaint and claims to be innocent?

It is my job to be an advocate on behalf of the alleged victim. That does not mean that the accused individual would be denied their due process, it simply means that I am there to help athletes first and foremost. We have to trust in our system (and the legal system) to filter out any false accusations.

In what format do you see education programs being implemented? What role, if any, will ASCA take in this education role?

With a membership of almost 300,000 – and an audience of around 450,000 including parents – we think online is the best delivery mechanism for learning. We are currently working with an outside organization to provide research-based, online curriculum and to develop effective, age-appropriate programming for the wider membership. We are also pursuing opportunities to train the leaders of our sport in other ways, including in-person sessions.

As for me, I don't trust the legal system so I don't like her first answer. How many guilty people have been found "not guilty" and how many people who have been incarcerated for years before DNA testing or a guilt-ridden witness comes clean and sets them free?

I suggest coaches adopt their own self protection guidelines.

1 comment:

CoachErik said...

make sure you email her Tony, she is very open and receptive to conversation.