News, resources and ideas to change USA Swimming for the good...

USA Swimming is charged with many different tasks. Some are admittedly more important than others. While we all look to performance in the pool as our barometer for the sport, the development of the children at our local clubs is where swimming ultimately and individually succeeds or fails.

The vast majority of the people associated with USA Swimming are good people. Some work tirelessly to improve the sport at a local, LSC or even national level. Others contribute when they can. There are, however, a small number of people who take advantage of the sport. Some are driven by money and, frighteningly, some are involved for the access to children. It is the failures of the sport that this watchdog and resource website seeks to address.

Our effort is in its infancy. We have sent out several informative and troubling emails to important officials and volunteers in swimming. This is just the start, but it is only a small portion of what Swimming Exposed will become. Yes, we will be a news/incident aggregator and offer the occasional piece of commentary or analysis. We will also gather resources and advice for parents and victims to help them navigate the confusing world of dealing with a governing body that only reluctantly addresses abuse, sexual and otherwise.

The reaction of USA Swimming leadership will provide a telling example of the state and direction of the sport. Great organizations, seeking to improve, embrace criticism and the watchdogs. Only by addressing or weaknesses and failures can we achieve what we hope for. Poor organizations lash out, rationalize and otherwise stick their heads in the sand. The easiest way to preserve self-image is to deny the validity of any claim without research and reflection. If swimming's leadership chooses that course, we are all in for difficult experience. Some of our children will pay for our failure with their innocence.

Swimming has been at a crossroads for the past few years. We have grown from a mom & pop type outfit to an important national organization. In the process we have found a shocking number of predators and problems in our midst. To date, well intentioned though they may be, the efforts to address our failures have been token or media oriented and not well enforced. Whether we have lacked the institutional will or just the resources and experience to handle the problems is immaterial. We have fallen significantly short. That needs to change.

The process of healing the sport will be painful and ugly. With the number of scorned victims, the outfit we call USA Swimming may not survive financially. The name itself is truly unimportant. What matters is that we emerge from this cesspool of sexual and financial abuses and calamities with a more alert and purposeful organization.

As a sport, swimming is hard to equal. You truly get out of it what you put in to it. As a culture or organization, we haven't reached such heights. Our see-no-evil, hear-no-evil attitude has let the wolves into the sheep pen. That is something we need to change. It will only happen if we open our eyes and roll up our sleeves.

Now is the time to start that change. In whatever capacity you serve. Open your eyes and ears. Learn the truth and make change happen. If we don't, the failures come at our children's expense.

Featured Video

Inside USA Swimming
as aired on ABC's 20/20

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Deep Deception: Ireland's Swimming Scandals
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Past Commentary

Bill Maxson - Twittilated

Broken arm: $1,000,000 -
Child rape: $100,000