Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Washington Post - Curl-Burke founder Rick Curl faces hearing on former swimmer’s account of underage sexual relationship in 1980s

A 33-year-old swimming coach by the name of Rick Curl had sex with a 13-year-old swimmer of his and successfully hid it for nearly 30-years by paying hush money via a "settlement."

Why is it that if a crime is committed that a lawsuit settlement can prevent the victim from going forward and reporting it? That is what 19-year-old Kelley Currin thought when she was pushed into signing an agreement to keep Rick Curl out of jail. She was wrong. It never matters what the settlement says, it matters what the law says and the law said she had rights.

From the Washington Post:

“I was stifled for 23 years from saying anything because I signed a piece of paper when I was 19,” Currin, now 43, said last week in an interview with The Post. “Now, I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’m done being quiet about it . . . It was a crime, what happened.”

Added Currin in an interview Tuesday: “It’s been 23 years, six months and two days. That’s better than 23 years, six months and three days. All I can do is all I do today to make a change. . . . I can’t go back. It’s very disheartening that I was scared for so long.”


USA Swimming and the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) had to have heard the rumors about this guy. I would never buy that USA Swimming nor ASCA never heard a rumor about this and here is why...

"... A teammate at Curl-Burke said Currin told her shortly before the 1988 Olympic trials what had happened.  
“I was pretty much in shock,” said the swimmer, who declined to be named. “It was so under cover. I would room with Kelley on trips, are you kidding me? . . . It still blows me away. . . . She told me all the years it occurred, and that there was sex. She thought he loved her and she loved him. She thought she was going to grow up and they would get married.

“No one else came out in my era and said, ‘Oh yeah, me, too.’ And I was there the whole time.” 
Currin said she also confided in the late Richard Quick, a former U.S. Olympic team coach who was at the University of Texas when she arrived, and a number of other prominent coaches.

Pete Morgan, who coached Olympic medalist Ed Moses and has coached under Curl since his earliest days, said he heard rumors of an inappropriate relationship and asked Curl about them on a number of occasions. Currin claimed that Morgan had walked in on her and Curl when they were kissing in a hotel room, but Morgan denied witnessing such an incident. ..."

This article is a serious indictment on how swimming is policed! Wait, actually, how it is NOT policed, monitored, or governed.

This is bigger than the Penn State scandal. We have more victims than the Sandusky/Penn State scandal has too. There are more cover-ups, more hush money, and no executive accountability. Though USA Swimming has a reporting infrastructure which it was forced to put in place, I am summarily not impressed with it's preventative infrastructure.

How can you have a supreme reporting infrastructure when whispers of sexual abuse that echo from the late Coach Richard Quick of Stanford all the way up to this blog and USA Swimming is the last to hear of them and investigate?

Finally to really throw some salt on this "infected wound" there was a 39-year-old swim coach recently arrested by the name of Noah Rucker for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with the 17-year old who he was coaching. His employer, Rick Curl - do these guys network or something?

Here is Rick Curl's club page listed at USA Swimming - It may been taken down when you go to read it but I have a screenshot above:  [Link]

Here is my call to action: Demand that the USA Swimming Board put a head on a spear much like Penn State did to it's executive staff and put in a new leadership that is as effective at preventing sex abuse as effective as the Little League of baseball. If they don't, fire them too. What is yours?


Raven said...

The first head on a post should be Chuck Wielgus...

then Pat Hogan...

Dale Neuberger...

Bill Maxson...

Rich Young...

The organization is so far gone that a complete reset is required.

Anonymous said...

"Fabos Olsen said the organization moved to take action last Friday after receiving the non-disclosure agreement.

B. Robert Allard, Currin’s attorney, sent the agreement to USA Swimming via e-mail soon after Currin spoke on the record for the first time to The Post."

Without a formal complaint (or evidence like the non-disclosure agreement that they received from her lawyer), they cannot launch a board of review. The victim was approached a couple of times by USA Swimming. As soon as she was ready to come forward, an emergency hearing was launched.

It is painful, but it is like watching a domestic violence situation where the victim refuses to press charges. We saw this with another team in California this fall (that I think was covered on this site). The victim would not press charges.

I do not know how to change this process.

Tony Austin said...

Dale Neuberger...

Do a search on my blog for that guy..

No wait, go here:

Tony Austin said...

Thank you for posting this comment - I suspect you are on the front lines of protecting USA Swimming athletes and are also the person who scolded me in an earlier post I had to correct.

The Amy Shipley article was suppose to have run last year but the Washington Post killed it because of the lack of said agreement. I just learned that today.

If a victim does not come forward then one can argue that there is "no crime" to pursue even when there is.

The failure here; (in my opinion), is that USA Swimming had an athlete who was not educated in what an acceptable client relationship or behavior from a coach should be nor their legal protections. This also includes reporting and such which only recently has become a process oriented operation. However, it needs more work.

I don't buy the "water under the bridge" excuse that this was an incident circa 1983 hence we are doing the best we can at present. This victim should have been able to testify anonymously to USA Swimming in 2008 or earlier, been able to provide the evidence or the agreement thereof with complete identity protection and USA Swimming should have had an arbitrator given this POS and complete exile from all things connected to USA Swimming.

With better leadership who ran the org like a non profit rather than a business, I suspect everybody would win.

I don't have an economic agenda with USA Swimming. I want swimming to go huge. I am actually on your mission statement's side.

Also why is ASCA getting a free pass on providing USA Swimming with safer coaches as well. They too should be doing just as much work as you are.

Tony Austin said...

I swear to god, i can't write anything without a typo, can I?

Anonymous said...

I did not see an earlier article that required scolding, so that was not me.

I do not know the timeline, but if this was over 20 years ago, was it AAU or USA Swimming? I agree that educating athletes is imperative. If she was never a part of USA Swimming because it did not exist back then, I am not sure how they could have educated her. I could easily have my dates incorrect, as I do not know exactly when AAU stopped and USA Swimming started.

I agree with the anonymous reporting idea. Is this in place already? And how do they address false claims?

These are all genuine questions in search of real solutions.

Tony Austin said...

The agreement is signed and notarized, it could be easily validated. :-)