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US Coach Rick Curl Banned For Life

Sep 19, 2012  - Craig Lord

USA Swimming banned Rick Curl for life today after the coach at the centre of abuse allegations waived his emergency board of review hearing and his right to a National Board of Review hearing.

Curl was under investigation after allegations that he had signed a non-disclosure agreement with a swimmer, Kelly Currin [Davies] and her parents in the 1980s to cover-up alleged sexual relations between coach and swimmer that started when she was 13 and he was 33, according to American media reports.

Currin, reported Amy Shipley in the Washington Post in July, stated that Curl paid her family $150,000 as part of the non-disclosure agreement. The family agreed to instalments and "not to press charges or speak publicly" about the issue. As such, the alleged abuse was not then reported to the police nor would swimming authorities have been privy to the problem.

Shipley reported that "Currin also said her parents, Gerald and Pamela Davies, learned of the alleged relationship when they read her diary soon before she left for the University of Texas on a swimming scholarship in 1987. She said they confronted Curl, but their attorney discouraged them from pursuing criminal action." 

Curl left the club he founded, Curl-Burke Swim Club in Washington, D.C., soon after Shipley's report appeared. The club no longer bears his name, this week announcing a new title, Nation's Capital Swim Club.

Legal representatives representing Currin are calling for heads to roll at USA Swimming because, they claim, the federation knew of the alleged abuse for a number of years and did nothing about it. The same might be said of Currin, her parents and their original advocates.

The Curl ban came a day after USA Swimming denied it had paid former head coach Mark Schubert to stay silent over what he may have known about the federations dealings related to the abuse cases that have rocked the worlds leading and most successful domestic swimming federation.

US Swimming posted a chronology of events in the Curl case on its website website. You can read a list of banned coaches here and read more on the American federation's Safe Sport Program here.