Former Curl-Burke Coach Rick Curl, has been suspended for life from USA Swimming, and the organization has added his name to the public list of banned individuals, it was announced Sept. 19.
Curl’s suspension comes after an investigation into allegations that he sexually abused at least one teenage swimmer. The following chronology of events was noted in a statement from USA Swimming:
1. April 2011: USA Swimming receives a report from a former swimmer [Kelley (Davies) Currin] who had heard from his roommate that Mr. Curl had an inappropriate relationship with a minor female swimmer in the 1980s and that a confidential legal settlement had been entered into. USA Swimming initiates an investigation.
2. April 2012: USA Swimming identifies and locates Currin. USA Swimming’s Director of Safe Sport contacts Currin who agrees to file a complaint. USA Swimming’s investigator interviews Currin. Investigation ongoing.
3. July 23, 2012: USA Swimming initiates a petition against Curl under its rules, seeking to temporarily suspend his membership at an emergency hearing, and to permanently ban him from membership and place his name on USA Swimming’s published list of Individuals Permanently Suspended or Ineligible for USA Swimming membership.
4. Aug. 1, 2012: Curl waives his right to an emergency hearing, and his USA Swimming membership is temporarily suspended by the USA Swimming National Board of Review, pending a final hearing on the action, set for Sept. 19, 2012.*
5. Sept. 18, 2012: Curl informs the National Board of Review that he is voluntarily and permanently relinquishing his USA Swimming membership; waiving his right to a final National Board of Review hearing, and accepting the sanction requested by USA Swimming.*
6. Sept. 18, 2012: The USA Swimming National Board of Review enters an order revoking Curl’s membership, permanently banning him from membership; and directing that his name be placed on USA Swimming’s published list of Individuals Permanently Suspended or Ineligible for USA Swimming Membership.
"I am happy to hear that Rick Curl may finally be starting to accept responsibility for what he did to me. I can now only hope that USA Swimming will accept responsibility for refusing to ban Rick Curl when they had knowledge to do so," said Currin, in a statement issued through her attorney, B. Robert Allard, with Corsiglia McMahon & Allard LLP, in San Jose, Calif.
Curl is one of seven coaches investigated and banned this year. There are at least two more coaches whose status is in question. The announcement of his suspension comes one day after a lawsuit was filed in Southern California against former U.S. National Team coach Mark Schubert.
The lawsuit was filed by Dia Rianda, a former coach at the Golden West Swim Club. Rianda alleges that she was fired by Schubert in July, after she raised concerns about allegations of sexual abuse by another coach Bill Jewell.
The complaint further alleges that Schubert surreptitiously hired a private investigator to document Sean Hutchison, coach of another elite Southern California swim club, engaging in inappropriate sexual activities with female swimmers. It goes on to contend that Schubert used the incriminating evidence against Hutchison to force a $625,000 “confidential” settlement from USA Swimming. Rianda alleges that in exchange for the money, Schubert promised not to publically discuss any sexual abuse allegations against USA Swimming coaches, including Hutchison, and Curl. She claims Schubert told her in confidence that he learned about Curl years ago, and informed USA Swimming’s Executive Director Chuck Wielgus on multiple occasions, but no action was taken until Currin came forward this year.
In statements to the media, USA Swimming has denied any coverup.