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.
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.
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.