Monday, September 17, 2012

Swim Coach and Philanthropist Dia Rianda is suing Mark Schubert and the Golden West Swim Club (GWSC) for wrongful termination!

I met Dia Rianda on Facebook and she is an amazing philanthropic soul. When I was getting threatened by John Leonard she just laughed and called it out as a bluff and she was right. She spoke highly of Mark Schubert and convinced me he was a good guy. Now WBAL is stating that she is suing Mark Schubert and the Golden West Swim Club (GWSC) for wrongful termination.  

From WBAL
 in July of this year. The claim states that Schubert fired Rianda because of her persistence with alerting Schubert of continued inappropriate behavior by William Jewell, Schubert’s friend and assistant at the Golden West Swim Club (GWSC). 
Additionally, the complaint also alleges that Schubert used damaging information that he acquired about another coach - relating to improper contact with swimmers - as leverage to secure a lucrative settlement with USA Swimming; Schubert himself was dismissed by USA Swimming from his powerful role as National Coach in late 2010 following his behavior at the Pan Pacific Championships that year. Even further, the suit implies that USA Swimming yet again participated in a cover-up by quietly hushing up an inappropriate coach-student relationship by a rising star among the coaching ranks. 
In a flash of comedic and brutal irony, this lawsuit comes just days after the Colorado Springs-based entity of mendacity – otherwise known as USA Swimming – came out with a much publicized interview with the Associated Press in which the organization said that they’ve made tremendous progress in rooting out the abusive behavior in the sport. “ They (USA Swimming membership) know the complaints and sanctioning process works efficiently and effectively. I see that as a positive”, stated Susan Woessner, the Athlete Protection Officer of USA Swimming. 
[Link]


When I read that USA Swimming press with Susan Woesner as "point man" for credibility I too was astonished. Two years before this self-congratulating press release was a governing body; (or more accurately Chuck Wielgus), sitting on a letter from a swimmer in San Jose complaining of sexual harassment. His reaction was to forward this email to another stating "Let's keep it between you and me" and nothing consequently nothing was done to help this poor girl. Wielgus was also sitting on the knowledge that Coach Rick Curl had signed a sex abuse settlement agreement with Kelly Davies Currin to keep his disturbing child rape of her a secret. Then, when confronted on TV about other sex abuse crimes this same Executive director refused to apologize to the victims and even got "testy" with the reporter for asking such a thing.

Thus, Susan Woesner is put forth as their only moral authority and states that USA Swimming has "made tremendous progress" in rooting out abusive coaches. In one sense she is correct. She took a very political organization and got it to finally do something but this organization is not the "paragon", or "gold standard" of child safety that one particular board member professes it to be.

This lawsuit that Dia has filed confirms that USA Swimming has miles to go and that this timed press release was nothing more than a planned distraction to deflect attention from what is going on inside the legal department and board room of USA Swimming.

For Dia Rianda to do this, a woman who is extraordinarily credible, generous and kind, it must be an extraordinarily important and heartbreaking issue for her to take up. Trust me, she doesn't need the money, so don't go there and in the comments section.

Note, I am not on Facebook anymore.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

A few months ago, Jewell was removed from the GWSC website and now he appears on the website with VOLUNTEER next to his name!

Tony Austin said...

They have an internet archive called the way back machine. tricks like this can be caught.

Anonymous said...

GO DIA!!!

I read the link to the WBAL article and found it interesting that Tyler Clary's parents made complaints.

Stacy Clary (Tyler's mother) had been on the Southern California Swimming Board of Directors for years (through the end of 2011). Tyler Clary has been on the SCS Board of Directors since the beginning of 2011 and participated in a BS hearing for a female athlete in the LSC.

If these members of the Board of Directors witnessed inappropriate behavior by Jewell, why was he allowed to coach on a different team?

Tony Austin said...

I am working on getting the complaint. This is quite extraordinary isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Nothing surprises me anymore.

"They (USA Swimming membership) know the complaints and sanctioning process works efficiently and effectively," stated by Susan Woessner - is laughable - is she serious?

I hope Dias' complaint can weed out the bad apples and the cover ups and help to stop the retaliation.

Tony Austin said...

A new board of directors has a nice ring to it - we got to get more people voting.

Tony Austin said...

A new board of directors has a nice ring to it - we got to get more people voting.

Anonymous said...

I just read the complaint. Hopefully her complaint can help resolve the cover ups, retaliation, and unethical behavior.

I'm ready to throw in the towel with my complaint. My appeal letter to the National Board of Review (along with the 3" binder with 58 sections) was not sufficient. I need to write some type of legal brief, in as much detail as possible, as to why I feel that the LSC Board of Review's decision was inaccurate. I'm beginning to believe that whatever I do will never be good enough so why bother.

Good Luck to Ms. Rianda.

Tony Austin said...

I am so sorry.

Coach said...

I was at convention all week. For some reason, people aren't outraged as they should be with those in charge of USA Swimming. I don't get it. Maybe it's just a very small percentage of us really paying attention. Sad.

Tony Austin said...

It's very sad. I think most parents look at the USA Swimming membership fees as a "tax" rather than a membership in an organization that is suppose to serve.

Just remember this, it only takes a couple of percentage points of any given membership or populace to start a "revolution." I am optimistic change will happen and if you look at the past three years or so, change is happening.

With a shoulder-to-shoulder effort it will get done.