WBAL profiles what they believe was a "hit job" and "blacklisting" of Coach Ken Stopkotte by USA Swimming. They pose a very good argument.
For background on who Coach Ken Stopkotte is and what exactly happened to him, see this blog I wrote back in March: [Link]
Ken Stopkotte had heard enough.
So in the fall of 2009, after the arrest of Chris Wheat for sexually abusing a 14 year-old girl at the Lawrence Swim Club in Lawrence, Indiana, Stopkotte, a swim coach himself (and eventual 2010 Indiana Swim Coach of the Year) made the bold move and went to the local Indianapolis media and spoke of the disturbing pattern of sexual abuse that was emerging within the ranks of USA Swimming.
How could Stopkotte not speak up after suspecting that Wheat was a problem. While the head coach of the Indiana Zone All Star Team, Stopkotte reportedly confronted Tony Young, the Sports Development Director at Indiana Swimming, and told Young that he didn’t want Wheat on his staff based on rumors he had heard from female swimmers. Young ignored Stopkotte’s warning., with Young saying something to the effect of “take it or leave it.”
Stopkotte was adamant that speaking out to the media was the right thing to do in an effort to shed light on this growing crisis within the sport; yet he was also aware that he would face immediate and vicious blowback from many others in the swim world.
I love swimming and I sometimes wonder what would have happened to me career-wise if I wrote this blog and I made my living training swimmers for the Olympics?
I wonder if they're coaches out there who are thinking the same thing?