Ben Sheppard is his name, a coach for the Oakland Undercurrent Swim Team. If this is true than this is over-the-top disturbing to say the least - worst of all he was a "consultant" for USA Swimming. They sure do know how to pick them, huh? Is this the second or third one?:
From the East Bay Express:
In at least four instances, the 35-year-old coach allegedly sent messages of an inappropriate nature to girls who were his former or current swimmers. One young woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said Sheppard sent her several Facebook messages on her eighteenth birthday in February. In transcripts of that conversation obtained by this newspaper, which began at 9:34 p.m., Sheppard initiated conversation with the young woman by wishing her happy birthday.After some back and forth, Sheppard grew coy, and wrote "just let me say it and ignore me if you want ... simply put, as crazy as it sounds I had such a crush on you ... and then some.""It was really weird," the young woman recalled by phone. "At first I didn't think it was him. I thought it was somebody hacking his page. He was like, 'Oh please don't tell anyone.' I didn't say anything in the beginning because I thought I was the only one. I don't want to mess up the team or make a big deal of it. I thought it was such a cool program."[Link]
I am told this individual was a member of Pat Hogan's staff. I am calling on all swim bloggers, swim news organization and journalist to summarily audit the successes and the failures of USA Swimming for the last four-and-a-half-years and subsequently publish their results.
If memory serves me correct and it often does: There has been an anti trust lawsuit, sexual misconduct lawsuits, two documentaries on the sexual misconduct therein, the mysterious firing of the national team coach, outrageous salaries versus the near poverty level pro swimmers endure, tax forms that look as if more money is spent on the comfort and aid of the executive staff and their entourage rather than what is spent on the subject of their non-profit: i.e. Adolescents, teens and national team members.
Publish it all, link to references so the the USA Swimming members at large can see this and "dethrone" those individuals who sit on the board and who have allowed an executive staff to live so well and hurt our sport so much!
You, the swimmer at large, can effect change far more than this blog ever could. Please make them stop this nonsense by putting people on the USA Swimming board that you know personally. People who are fed up with their "Marie Antoinette" compensation policies and their "wolf in sheep's clothing" child protection policies as well.
Fire these bums now! Take action! NOW!