On eve of hearing, swim club changes name -- Gazette.Net


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The well-known swim club formerly known as Curl-Burke and then CUBU has again changed its name, this time to Nation’s Capital Swim Club, according to a press release issued by the club Tuesday.

The renaming announcement comes on the eve of a scheduled hearing before USA Swimming for Curl-Burke’s founder, Rick Curl, who is being accused of an inappropriate sexual relationship with one of his former swimmers when she was just 13.

“The last couple of months have been a challenging time for our Club, coaches, swimmers and facility partners,” said Tom Ugast, the club’s CEO. “Our new name and ownership build on the many changes we’ve already made that reflect our uncompromising commitment to the safety of our swimmers while preserving the talents and strengths that have made our Club one of the country’s most successful for years.”

Ugast purchased all club operations from Curl Swimming Services. The Curl-Burke Swim Club was a subsidiary of Curl Swimming Services, which Rick Curl still owns. Nation’s Capital Swim Club adopted a new logo that integrates images of a swimmer and the U.S. Capitol dome inside a red, white and blue circle.

USA Swimming, the national governing body for swimming in the United States, has approved the change of ownership and name.

“We felt we wanted to start fresh and worked with USA Swimming to give us an opportunity to do that. The name represents who we are as a club,” Ugast told The Gazette.

The new club will assume CUBU’s 2,000 or more enrolled swimmers at the club’s 15 facilities located throughout the region, Ugast said.

Curl faces a full hearing before USA Swimming’s board of review scheduled for Wednesday. USA Swimming could not be reached for comment to confirm the hearing is going on as scheduled. Kelley Currin, a former club swimmer coached by Curl, has accused him of engaging in sexual relations with her during a four-year period in the 1980s starting when she was 13 and he was 33, according to The Washington Post.

Currin, whose maiden name is Davies, also told the Post that Curl paid her family $150,000 to keep quiet about the affair.

The new name and ownership are just the latest in a series of changes the club began making after news broke about the accusations against Curl. In addition, the club has established a segregated account to protect its funds, according to the press release. Ugast also said the organization is considering some changes to its hiring process for coaches.

“Currently we go through USA Swimming in doing background checks on coaches. A third party conducts a 10-year search for red flags. Certainly that doesn’t catch everybody,” Ugast said.

He said the club may start fingerprinting employees for a more extensive criminal record check.

“Unless there is a criminal record we won’t catch everyone. That is the hole in the system,” Ugast said.

kbrick@gazette.net