US swim coach Rick Curl has been banned for life by USA Swimming on Wednesday after allegations surfaced of an intimate relationship with a teenage swimmer in the 1980s.
The swimming coach was one of the nation’s most prominent swimming coaches who helped raise an Olympic champion and built a highly respected club, which trained thousands of youngsters in his time, reports Sports Illustrated.
Kelley Davies Currin, a former USA women’s swimmer, claimed that her relationship with Curl began when she was 13 and he was 33. Currin stated:
“He cast a spell over me. I don’t know why. Looking back, it doesn’t make sense. He controlled everything. He controlled what I ate, when I slept, who I could hang out with.”
Curl was scheduled to appear on Wednesday before the National Board of Review, but, instead of appearing, he informed the governing body that he would waive his right to challenge the case at a hearing.
The US swimming coach voluntarily gave up his membership to USA Swimming and was also added to the organization’s list of banned individuals, which is published on their website, becoming the 67th name on the list.
Fox Sports notes that Currin was satisfied with the ruling but also hopes that it is the beginning of a meaningful change in the sport. The former US swimmer stated in an interview that:
”Obviously I feel really good about it. But, in a way, I feel like this should have been done so long ago. This is really just the first step in the process. Unfortunately, I don’t think things are going to get better. I think more discoveries are going be made. This is just the first layer of the onion.”
Currin received a $150,000 settlement from the US swim coach Rick Curl with the understanding that she would not go to law enforcement with the four-year long relationship, a decision that she still regrets. After the settlement, Currin dealt with depression and an eating disorder but has since been married and gotten a job as a teacher.
Despite the settlement, the former swimmer decided to come forward with the knowledge. Currin is not the only US swimmer to be involved in an improper relationship with his or her coach, a fact that has prompted USA Swimming to launch a safe sport program including mandatory training and also an enhanced criminal background check for all non-athlete members.
Do you think that US swim coach Rick Curl’s ban from US swimming is sufficient punishment for his illicit relationship with formal swimmer Kelley Davies Currin?