This story was updated at 5:20 p.m. on Aug. 3, 2012
Montgomery County police have launched an official investigation against prominent Washington, D.C.-area swim coach and Curl-Burke Swim Club founder Rick Curl in light of sexual misconduct accusations made by one of his former swimmers.
In addition, Curl has resigned as the club’s president, according to a statement from club officials.
He also voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension of his USA Swimming membership, waiving his right to the organization’s National Board of Review emergency hearing that was scheduled for last week, according to a USA Swimming statement provided by spokesperson Jamie Fabos Olsen.
A full hearing before the board is scheduled for Sept. 19, when Curl will face USA Swimming’s request for a lifetime ban, according to the statement.
The USA Swimming statement, which was emailed to The Gazette reads:
“Mr. Curl has waived his right to the emergency hearing which had been scheduled for tonight and has voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension of his USA Swimming membership pending the full National Board of Review hearing set for September 19, 2012. Mr. Curl’s acceptance of a provisional suspension is without admission, and he has reserved his right to contest USA Swimming’s request for a lifetime ban at the September 19 hearing.”
Kelley Currin, whose maiden name is Davies, recently told The Washington Post that Curl, her former swim coach, had sexual relations with her during a four-year period in the 1980s, beginning when she was 13 and he was 33. Curl paid her family $150,000 in exchange for their silence, according to the Post.
Currin told The Gazette that she thought the resignation was appropriate. “That is a first step toward doing the right thing in a long process,” she said.
The swim club, which has changed its name to CUBU Swim Club in light of the accusations, also has created a segregated account to “make certain that current and future funds are used only to pay for pools, coaches and related operating activities,” according to the club’s Wednesday statement.
Club officials hope the account will give parents and swimmers confidence that their money will not be put toward expenses such as legal fees, said Tom Ugast, the club’s director of operations and its newly-named acting CEO.
“Club management is also consulting with coaches, parents, swimmers and various experts to explore other oversight reforms that may be appropriate to increase participation, transparency and accountability in its leadership, and ensure that the Club is a national leader in its compliance with USA Swimming rules and its Code of Conduct, in particular, the Articles dealing with Athlete Protection Policies, and Reporting Requirements,” the club’s statement reads.
Ugast said the club continues to face concerns, including those from parents.
“I get a call from a parent every day wanting to talk to me,” Ugast said.
The club is working to assure parents of their children’s safety and the club’s dedication to its mission, he said, adding that he believes the club has a strong future.
“I’m going to keep this club intact,” he said.