Sunday, January 08, 2012

John Trembley, the University of Tennessee swim coach under fire at 'Swim News'

Craig Lord of Swim News does a quasi hit piece on a coach named John Trembley, of the University of Tennessee. He was recently "relieved of duties" with no reason given. I did not bother to run the story because... there is no story yet, just some guy getting fired.

The article at Swim News goes to great lengths to play up the possibility of fraud, mayhem or something sinister and it is all sprinkled with nothing more than speculation. He discusses the resume of the detective investigating the case making him sound like a supporting actor from a imaginary TV show called "Law and Order: Tennessee Pools." 

Lord mentions how this particular detective usually investigates: "...fraud, forgery, embezzlement and other financial crimes...." Sigh, aren't most crimes financial in nature and what if this isn't a financial crime at all? Perhaps detectives in the real world actually investigate all sorts of crimes rather than specialized ones?

Somehow Craig Lord got a hold of a rumor that coach Trembley's contract has definitive rules in it that can get him fired:
"... Trembley's contract is said to define gross misconduct as "theft or dishonesty; gross insubordination; willful destruction of university property; falsification of records; acts of moral turpitude; reporting for duty under the influence of intoxicants; illegal use, manufacture, possession, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances or alcohol; disorderly conduct; provoking a fight. ..."

If the above summation is real; which I doubt since one can get fired for any of those reasons without a contract, could it be possible that simply yelling at your boss or having either an alcohol problem or otherwise be possible cause as well?

Why does Craig Lord play up the embezzlement card? The potential for theft, falsification of records, etc. etc. without any factual evidence? Why does he even hint it?

"I don't do hit pieces often, but when I do, I post facts and links, not speculation an innuendo. Stay thirsty, my friend."


Anonymous said...

Tony Austin said...

That's three of them mining rumors. very sloppy.

Anonymous said...

I think that Lord is playing up the financial aspect because he is a supporter of coaches rather than trying to do them down.

Reading between the lines, I suspect (although I don't know) that he is simply trying to quash any suggestion that there is an sexual impropriety involved.

Backfired maybe but I am sure it was written and published with good intentions.

Tony Austin said...

I don't see how Craig Lord's article was a gentle piece in any way shape or form.

Stealing, fraud, embezzlement are pretty serious crimes. If I was under investigation after being fired as a swim coach and news outlet insinuated that stuff about me; (presuming it was untrue), they would be toast.

Lord should just wait for the cards to play and then report it. Putting a spotlight on it did nobody any good.

Anonymous said...

There have been a number of high profile coaching dismissals recently (not just swimming) that were almost all related to sexual misconduct. If someone just read that Trembley was being fired for undisclosed reasons, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume it was also of similar nature. I also don't think Craig Lord goes to great lengths to portray it as something sinister; he's reporting in as much detail as he and the other swimming sites can with the lack of public details, while trying to prevent the immediate assumption of sexual misconduct that is much more damaging than misuse of funds.

Tony Austin said...

I don't think it was measured reporting and I suspect Coach Trembley does not think so either. I am also presuming that he wishes no one would discuss it till the facts were made known in a more appropriate and well mannered way.

surfer said...

Trembley has done a good job at Tennessee, he will be missed. He must have pissed on (or pissed off) the wrong person. He wasn't put on paid leave, or suspended upon review. He was "Fired". Schools don't up and do that with out an airtight case.

I was kind of relived to hear it doesn't involve inappropriate relations with an athlete.

Tony Austin said...

Schools do lots of crazy things. In fact I am amazed at some of the people they don't fire.

For instance Princeton bioethics professor Peter Singer feels it should be okay to euthanize disabled infants for they hold very little value. I find that patently Nazi yet many professors have been fired for the silliest of things.

Let's wait for a statement by Trembley.

Anonymous said...

Wow Tony, it's amazing who you will and won't defend. So, what your whole game really comes down to isn't about protecting athletes or cleaning up the sport, it comes down to attacking your enemies and defending to the death your friends. Awesome. Noted.

Tony Austin said...

Thank you letters from coaches, athletes, their parents; (a couple of whom who have commented on this blog), would perhaps disagree with you.

Here is a link to a post I made where Garrett Weber Gale's father left a comment.

But you did get one thing right, I will defend my friends.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Gotta love SCAQ reporting. If only the media would wait for people to admit to what they've done wrong! Then the world would be a better place!

Everitt Uchiyama, anyone? I'm pretty sure he didn't admit to his employer what he did as a swim coach - and then the media picked up on it, and then someone FINALLY did something about it. USA Swimming brushed it under the rug until the media picked up on it.

Maybe the great Tony Austin isn't as great as he likes to pretend like he is. I'm sure you got love letters, because I used to think you were on the side of good too. It's becoming more and more obvious whose side you're really on - Tony Austin's side.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have personally seen where you will defend your friends, whether they are right or wrong, it doesn't seem to matter.

You'll defend someone that is your friend even if they are doing something that you find fault with when someone else does it.

If it's your friend doing the wrong-doing, who cares who is hurt by it? Not you, obviously.

I call that hypocrisy.

Note: I am a different anon from any of the above

linny said...

Tony, I am in the UK and have no knowledge of or issues with any coaches in the USA. I also posted as the first anonymous on this subject (none of the other anonymous posts are mine though).

I feel I have to reply because if you had truly read or even kept an eye on the reporting of Craig Lord over time as you said you would do in the link on the post above (and moreover if you had looked back on his previous reports) you would know that Lord always supports and defends coaches. Always and against anyone. It is what he does. That's what he was doing in the article about Gerret Weber Gale and I am convinced that is what he was attempting to do, albeit you don't see it, on this subject. I agree totally with anonymous 2. That's why I posted.

Notwithstanding the fact that we disagree here, I think your blog is fantastic and now I have worked out how to post my name on it (I'm a girl!) I look forward to supplying you with my wisdom more often.

(That was English wit...)

Tony Austin said...

Craig Lord and I have quite a history together and a lot in common. We both adore swimming and we can't stand each other.

I was actually pretty rough with him when he challenged me on this blog.

Your comments are very sweet. The truth is going to come out on Trembly and I am looking forward to it. Craig will realize that he should have kept quiet.

Anonymous said...

As a former UT swimmer, I can tell you that John has always been thin in the morals department and that is being nice. Most of the Alumni cannot stand him. John was probably skimming from the Continuing Education Fund or something along those lines. Don't worry as his lawyer will spin this that John was a victim (pressure, addiction, PTSD, sudden acceleration syndrome, etc.) but most of the alumni know better as John is getting what he deserves. One can only hope that we finally get a good coach at UT.

Anonymous said...

Several comments. During Trembley's swimming career in the mid-1970s he came close to being the first swimmer to break 20 seconds in the 50 yard freestyle -- this by going 20.0-something at the Belmont Plaza pool.

As for Lord, by the time he got to it the story had already been reported in Knoxville and picked up by Swimming World. All Lord did was repeat what had already been printed, about the detective, about the gross misconduct clause in the coaching contract, and other details.

As for the comment from the former Tennessee swimmer, the phrase "most of the alumni can't stand" is interesting because I've seen the opposite also written. But everyone is entitled to his/her opinion.

Anonymous said...

Tony, you are smoking the Trembley stick HARD. I have not heard from a single insider source at Tennessee (out of MANY) who has said that he will be absolved of anything, or who thinks that "when the truth comes out" that he will ever be allowed on a pool deck again.

Are you talking to Trembley directly? Where is your info coming from that you seem to think the complete opposite? I'm confused as to why your facts are facts, and everyone else that I hear from have only rumors.

So who's your source that Trembley is innocent when the truth comes out? The man himself? His attorney? Or just based purely on your hatred for Craig Lord?

Anonymous said...

John Trembley was a heck of a great coach and leader. I worked for him and swam under his leadership. He made UT swimming a phenomenal program. He will be missed. Those who swam under him and do not like him never gave their all or attained their full potential. Such a shame.

TedBaker said...

"Those who swam under him and do not like him never gave their all or attained their full potential."

Horses for courses. One person's great coach is the next one's worst nightmare. Look at Bowman, Phelps and Hoff. Bowman and Phelps is the stuff of legend. Bowman and Hoff was a disaster.

Not sure about Tremblay as a coach and no comment on his firing but I will guarantee that he was the best coach they'd ever had for some and their worst nightmare for others.

Anonymous said...

Years ago when my child swam for Pilot AQ I was under the impression that the continuing ed fee we paid which I remember as being around 450 a year per child was to go to the Cont.Ed dept for programs. Later I was told that it was a "bonus money". When I tried to ask about it, I was basiclly told not to,that it was none of my buisness..When we left the club a few years later,ConEd payment had been discontinued.

Tony Austin said...

I am not sure I understand the context of this comment. Nonetheless, if you feel you were over-charged, or fraudulently charged and your money did not go to the proper organization or individual, perhaps you really should contact that organization and perhaps talk about it?

Tony Austin said...

Did somebody just call me the "Great and powerful Tony Austin?"

That I am only "Tony Austin's side?"

Who knew?

Tony Austin said...

Fired on January 1st or so and here we are 6-weeks later and no charges have been filed. Media is silent too.

Tony Austin said...

So, here we are on March 7, 2012 and no Trembley arrest!

Do we have another "Ken Stopkotte" situation here?

Anonymous said...

I haven't been involved with the swimming world in years but i swam at UF when JT swam for UT, many suspected he was an early user of steroids!

Anonymous said...

John Tremblay was always suspected as being a steroid user during his swimming career as were most of Ray Bussard's swimmers, So this is not surprising!

Tony Austin said...

What years were these?

Anonymous said...

its very basic he rented the swim and diving facility out and kept the money and the new AD did not like it.