PDA

View Full Version : The Letter...



lefty
February 18th, 2011, 04:37 PM
Anyone know what this is all about:

TO: USA Swimming Board of Directors

LSC General Chairs

Member Coaches

Staff and Others



FROM: Bruce Stratton and Chuck Wielgus



Two days ago an anonymous letter was distributed to many people within the swimming community. This letter is full of false information and malicious lies that are being promulgated in an evil attempt to discredit USA Swimming. Some have suggested that this is nothing more than the vindictive action of a single individual or small group who have an axe to grind with USA Swimming. Others have suggested that this is part of a larger strategy to embarrass USA Swimming. We do not know the source of this letter, nor can we do anything other than speculate on the motivation behind it, however, we think that EVERYONE WHO SEEKS TO CONDUCT THEMSELVES WITH INTEGRITY ought to take enormous offense at any action that is taken in such a mean-spirited and cowardly way.



Our initial reaction to the letter was simply to ignore it. However, there has been a groundswell of outrage from USA Swimming members, and especially from the coaching community where people are simply becoming fed-up with these kinds of untruthful, unfair and anonymous attacks. It is impossible for us to monitor and respond to every blog posting and every anonymous accusation, but this particular letter is so full of bad information that we are compelled to step off the high road of not responding to anonymous attacks and set the record straight with the facts. Specifically:



Ø There has been no settlement between Mark Schubert and USA Swimming.

Ø Mark Schubert never presented USA Swimming with any incriminating information regarding Sean Hutchison.

Ø USA Swimming hired an independent investigator to conduct a full investigation into the Hutchison case, which was run the same way all our investigations are run.

Ø The investigator concluded that there was no evidence of an inappropriate relationship between Coach Hutchison and an adult athlete. This was the same conclusion drawn by the private investigator hired by FAST.

Ø We released the findings because Sean had been vilified in the press and we felt the right thing to do was to make our findings public.

Ø USA Swimming’s legal fees are publicly reported and total nowhere near the amount alleged in the letter.

Ø Neither board members or staff receive any money from USSIC.

Ø Senior staff salaries are publically reported.

Ø Members of the USA Swimming, USA Swimming Foundation and USSIC Boards of Directors receive no compensation.



USA Swimming is an organization that has been consistently recognized as among the best governed and best managed national governing bodies in all Olympic sport. The board of directors is comprised of individuals who are elected by the membership and their volunteer service has always been measured against the touchstones of accountability, openness and “doing the right thing” in support of hundreds of thousands of athlete members. Likewise, the organization’s staff is held to the highest standards of professionalism and serves under the policy direction of the board.



In closing, we challenge the author of this anonymous letter to identify himself/herself and to step forward into the light so that these and any other allegations may be openly confronted in a responsible way.



Respectfully,



Bruce and Chuck

knelson
February 18th, 2011, 04:43 PM
Here's some background on the Sean Hutchison story:
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/26072.asp

The whole thing is very strange. I have to agree with the letter that it looks like someone has an axe to grind.

orca1946
February 18th, 2011, 05:37 PM
NO name & they look at it?

Paul Smith
February 19th, 2011, 08:40 AM
It was forwarded to me by a couple of people....

Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2011 11:37:16 -0800
From: usswim_scandal@yahoo.com
Subject: USA Swimming Corruption
To: usswim_scandal@yahoo.com
Dear USA Swimming Members & Swimming Enthusiasts,

This email is being distributed to over 10,000 addresses of coaches, parents, swimmers and team representatives. Please feel free to forward it along to as many people as you'd like including your team members, coaches and other parents. The only way to fight the corruption and mismanagement that is plaguing our sport is to educate and bring this to light amongst the general membership.

On Monday, February 14, 2011, USA Swimming issued a press release to the national media claiming that a full investigation by an independent private investigator found no evidence thatSean Hutchison, the USA Swimming Olympic Training Center Coach at FullertonAquatic Sports Team (FAST), had an inappropriate relationship with an athlete.
Contrary to USA Swimming’s statement, we have strong reason to believe this investigation was inaccurate and it was nothing more than a deceptive cover-up by the executives and board members of USA Swimming. In fact, two high ranking employees of USA Swimming have characterized the investigation as "a lame and half hearted effort".

The true facts as we understand them are as follows…

After USA Swimming fired Mark Schubert as the National Team Director in November of 2010, Schubert started cooperating and shared information with the attorneys suing USA Swimming in the numerous sexual abuse trials that are scheduled in 2011. Schubert, through a private investigator that he hired, also obtained INDISPUTABLE PROOF that showed Hutchison appearing to be cozy and intimate with one of the FAST post grad female athletes. Schubert demanded a 5 million dollar settlement from USA Swimming and presented them with copies of the incriminating evidence against Hutchison. In fear of the potential damage that Schubert was in the position to cause, USA Swimming settled with Schubert for 2.5 million dollars on the condition that he not cooperate with the attorneys opposing USA Swimming and he keepsquiet about the Hutchison issue.

When the Hutchison scandal broke in the Washington Post, Hutchison denied the relationship to USA Swimming and the leaders of the FAST. In reality,there are actually two female athletes involved because one broke the jaw of the other in a fight over Hutchison.

When is this going to end? USA Swimming paid over 15 million dollars of our membership and insurance fees for legal expenses to defend sexual abuse lawsuits in 2010. Within the next twomonths, we expect three new lawsuits to be filed against USA Swimming. With the trials of several previously filed lawsuits looming this year, it would be safe to assume that legal fees figure to more than double in 2011,surpassing the 30 million dollar mark.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any motivation or effort from the USA Swimming Executive Director, Chuck Wielgus, or the USA Swimming legal counsel to settle these lawsuits bring them to closure. Wielgus will happy to take his $750,000.00 per year salary and leave the mess he caused for someone else to clean-up when he retires. If you were the USA Swimming legal counsel and you’re making 15-30 million a year off of swimming membership fees and insurance, would you be in a hurry to settle?

Furthermore, what gives Wielgus and the legal counsel the right to settle with Schubert for 2.5 million dollars. Wasn’t he fired “for cause”? The USA Swimming membership is owed an explanation for where the money is going and how it is spent!

The next time your child or swimmer participates in a USA Swimming sponsored swim-a-thon or your club runs a USA Swimming sanctioned or approved swim meet and you volunteer for 12 hours over that weekend, remember that the funds raised from these events are going to the corruption mentioned in the previous paragraphs and throughout this communication.

The television media is preparing new pieces against USA Swimming and the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) for making recommendations for known pedophile coaches for jobs withclubs in the United States and working in a consultant role at USA Swimming.

Unfortunately, USA Swimming and ASCA are very similar in that they both have rubber stamp boards that don'tprovide oversight to their executive directors and employees. Through many years of careful design, both organizations are so insulated from their membership that they routinely manipulate, profit off of, and squander their membership's money without any accountability or transparency whatsoever.

Through USA Swimming's own offshore (Barbados) captive insurance company, United States Sports Insurance Company, some USA Swimming board members and employees such as Wielgus and Pat Hogan are paid large bonuses and stipends sometimes amounting to six figures. You would think that being on a not-for-profit board would be a volunteer position! This explains why individuals often rotate on and off the USA Swimming and USSIC boards and ultimately why Wielgus and his staff have a free pass to do whatever they want without regard for the membership. We will cover the questionable practices of this insurance company, in detail, in a future article on the website that we are putting together.

With the well documented history of lies and cover-ups from Wielgus, why should we as members trust the 2/14 statement to the media? It is obvious that USA Swimming was backed in a corner and lying and covering up the Hutchisonsituation, even if it is going to cost 2.5 million of membership money, is worth it to them. Wielgus and USA Swimming had a choice of doing the right thing and enforcing the new Child Protection Policy or doing the unthinkable by trying to cover-up the potential embarrassment of what really happened in the Hutchison ordeal for 2.5 million dollars. The Child Protection Policy that was adopted at the 2010 USAS Convention in Dallas is now nothing more than a waste of time and bad joke!

Sincerely,

A Splash of Truth

knelson
February 19th, 2011, 12:39 PM
After USA Swimming fired Mark Schubert as the National Team Director in November of 2010, Schubert started cooperating and shared information with the attorneys suing USA Swimming in the numerous sexual abuse trials that are scheduled in 2011. Schubert, through a private investigator that he hired, also obtained INDISPUTABLE PROOF that showed Hutchison appearing to be cozy and intimate with one of the FAST post grad female athletes.

Well, if this is true it would seem that Mark Schubert is the one with an axe to grind...

What a mess. Hopefully we get the real story eventually.

orca1946
February 19th, 2011, 03:20 PM
Change a few words & this sounds too much like my Catholic church!:badday:

havepoolwillswim
February 19th, 2011, 03:55 PM
Who would have access to over 10k emails of coaches, parents, and swimmers? These aren't readily available to just anyone. But maybe they are just saying that many were sent out so to make it look like it's coming from within USA swimming.

And exactly how was Sean vilified by the press? The WP reported on the investigation of the rumor, but they also stated there were no findings of inappropriate action. Where's the libel?

swimshark
February 19th, 2011, 08:52 PM
Who would have access to over 10k emails of coaches, parents, and swimmers? These aren't readily available to just anyone. But maybe they are just saying that many were sent out so to make it look like it's coming from within USA swimming.

And exactly how was Sean vilified by the press? The WP reported on the investigation of the rumor, but they also stated there were no findings of inappropriate action. Where's the libel?

I am a USA-S member and did not get the letter Paul pasted. I have not heard any of my team mates or parents getting it, either.

makesense
February 20th, 2011, 06:09 AM
sounds like either blackmail or extortion against USAS