[UPDATED with Reid Clarifies Coker:] Did Nadadores Swim Club Bury its Head in the Deep End as Underage Sex Claim Surfaced?
|Coach Ad'm Dusenbury|
Here's that email:
I just wanted to drop you a line to clarify something that was in your recent post about the Mission Viejo Nadadores. In the story Sunday I referred to Rick Brotherton being appalled at the club's reaction to the Dusenbury situation. That was in reference to the club's reaction this past August. Dusenbury resigned, then was allowed to withdraw the resignation and return to the club. Several parents were upset with the decision to call him back from Palo Alto. Coaches and club officials opposed the club firing him yet would not view the material raising the allegations. That is what Mr. Brotherton was upset with and why he left the club.Back atcha, big guy.
Mr. Brotherton was not on the board in 2006 and I'm not sure he was even at the club at the time. I do believe that if he had been aware of the rumors and red flags about Dusenbury and the girl in 2006 he would have followed the proper procedures then just as he did in August.
I also wanted to say I appreciate you taking notice of our reporting in your blog. It's nice to know someone besides my family is reading the paper.
All the best,
Scott M. Reid
The Orange County Register
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 26, 2:28 P.M.: Since forming in 1968, athletes from the Nadadores Swim Club of Mission Viejo have won 47 National Team Championships, 12 Olympic Gold Medals, 7 Olympic Silver Medals, 1 Olympic Bronze Medal, 5 Individual World Championship titles and 148 individual National Championships. The club has produced 135 All-Americans, and 91 American and 22 world records have been shattered along the way. But the club is now generating something else: allegations that it covered up a onetime rising star coach's sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female Nadadores swimmer.
Orange County Register investigative reporter Scott M. Reid is carving out an interesting niche beat. He broke the news in September about multiple, decades-old sexual trysts involving underage gymnasts and U.S. Olympic team coach Don Peters. That led to Peters leaving his internationally renowned SCATS gym in Huntington Beach--and Orange County, for that matter--and his eventual ban from the sport.
The reaction from the Nadadores to the story coming to light now prove that when it comes to denying or minimizing adult employees having illegal sex with minors years ago, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is not alone in standing by its men.
Parents, Nadadores coaches and team officials apparently knew back in 2006 that Dusenbury was romatically involved with the 16-year-old Aliso Viejo High School student. Then, last August, board members were handed a DVD diary that Dusenbury and the girl made to chronicle their relationship. Reportedly included were the dates and locations where they got it on, and there is said to be at least one image of the girl in her underwear on Dusenbury's bed.
And yet, Dusenbury was allowed to keep coaching through October, when he left for the Voices for Children, "a research and advocacy organization committed to making young children's issues a priority" in San Antonio, Texas.
Nadadores head coach Bill Rose all along dismissed the allegations as false but, curiously, he also just told Reid he never viewed the DVD.
"What relationship?" Rose reportedly asked during the interview. "They're just allegations. . . . We followed the proper procedures."
In a long statement about Reid's report that I have added to the end of this post, the Nadadores say the story is "stale" and filled with so many "inaccuracies" and "false statements," the club wonders why the Register bothered printing it. The statement goes on to say that after a woman who described herself as Dusenbury's ex-girlfriend handed a board member the DVD, the coach was immediately suspended with pay pending an investigation.
The sport's governing body, USA Swimming, and the Orange County Sheriff's Department were contacted, and each launched separate probes, according to the statement. The sheriff's department ultimately determined there was insufficient evidence of a crime. USA Swimming recommended supervised probation for Dusenbury as their investigation continued, according to the Nadadores, but he left the club instead and has not been affiliated with it since.
The statement claims the ex-girlfriend has since denied the allegations. She is reportedly described as "angry" and "vengeful" in an email to the Register from Kathleen Fletcher, the Voices for Children president and Dusenbury cheerleader.
I do understand that, like any organization that works with or serves children, USA Swimming has to investigate any allegation. I also know that allegations may or may not be true. We followed up on references both here and in California--all excellent. To avoid any risk, the CEO of the major organization of which we are a partner agency did some additional contacting of people and of course we did a background check--no problems other than apparently an angry and vengeful ex-girlfriend...Ad'm has done an excellent job for us.
Reid also heard from former Nadadores board of directors chairman Rick Brotherton, who said he was so perturbed by the relationship everyone was talking about as it was going on--and even more so by the official cover up after it was exposed--that he quit and pulled his kids out of the club.
"I didn't agree with the fact that he was still on (the pool) deck," Brotherton reportedly says. "I thought by my staying there I was making a statement that I felt everything was fine and I didn't believe everything was fine. So we left. I didn't want people thinking 'The Brothertons are still here. It must not be as bad as they're saying it is.'"
Considering the possibility that many may have buried their heads in the deep end, USA Swimming has shifted the focus of its investigation from the allegations to the apparent Nadadores cover up. From San Antonio, Dusenbury has kept his mouth shut.
The Nadadores statement follows on the next page . . .