Friday, January 07, 2011

The Washington Post absolutely stands by it's Sean Hutchison resignation piece!

With this absolute endorsement from the Washington Post, "the sharks now smell blood in the water." It is never a good idea to state that a reputable paper, a paper that broke the Watergate Scandal posted rumors.

On December 29th, Amy Shipley of the Washington Post wrote an article complete with names and quotes stating that Sean Hutchinson had resigned from his coaching position at the Fullerton Aquatics Swim Team (FAST) after being confronted regarding rumors of a swimmer/coach romantic relationship, a concept forbidden by USA Swimming despite participants being adults: [Link]

Soon after USA Today followed up with their own story which pretty much collaborated what the Washington Post had written but included even more quotations by Bill Jewell.

Then on January 6th, Swimming world posted that the Washington Post Story was innaccurate in that Sean Hutchison did not resign and everything was all good.

I wrote the Washington Post for either an endorsement and/or a clarification and The Washington Post responded quickly and aggressively making it extraordinarily clear they meant every word.

Here is a snippet from the letter I received:

"... Of course we stand by our original story. Both parties told us in plain language they were going separate ways. There was no confusion about this. I believe the quotes we used were quite plain. ..."


Anonymous said...

Ok so I can picture this....he quit, walked out...mad..realized he had a contract and no where to go? Called around to see where he could get pool time to start this new amazing pro program. hmmmmm nope that didn't work...UH...can I have my job back? or did he actually consider Dagny? Katie? Ari? and return? I don't know the guy and I hope it was all rumor but if he did leave I hope he returned because he cares about his swimmers who have moved there to train with him. It is a sad bit of BS USAS doesn't need right now amidst the BS that has gone on in the last few months.

Tony Austin said...

The story at both the WA-PO and USA Today is true.

I do believe the key player here is Bill Jewell. He is the one that accepted his resignation and he is the one that took him back.

Why did he suddenly retract his quotes?

Anonymous said...

I believe the Washington Post story was accurate. There is no reason for Amy Shipley to bend the story in any way.

Sean Hutchison could have simply said that he had reconsidered his position at FAST, decided to stay and it wouldn't be a big deal. No need to call the Washington Post and Amy Shipley a liar. People change their minds all the time.

Assuming the rumors were unfounded, he may have just wanted to create a swim club where he didn't have a Bill Jewel to answer to and could deal with rumors as a CEO would.

Unfortunately, the denial by Hutchison and Jewel a week after the initial reports falls into the recent pattern of USA Swimming. Just stonewall and the media will go away -- we're a minor sport and there's no real media commitment to following up.

It is disappointing that Swimming World did not report seeking out Amy Shipley to get her side of the story before reporting the matter as fact: "Contrary to what was first reported by the Washington Post, no verbal or written resignation was ever submitted".

Tony, thanks for making sure that someone is watching and commenting.

Tony Austin said...

Whoever you are, thank you, I am sincerely flattered. :-S