U suspends Winslow for allegations of sexual abuse

U suspends Winslow for allegations of sexual abuse
Greg Winslow

Greg Winslow

Utah head swim coach Greg Winslow has been suspended following allegations of sexual abuse filed by the father of a former swimmer.

The Arizona State University Police Department confirmed a police report has been filed containing the allegations against Winslow. The report has yet to be released to the public.

“Late last night [Feb. 27], we learned of allegations against our swim coach,” said Utah athletic director Chris Hill. “We normally would not [take action] with just allegations, but these are very serious allegations … we decided it was in the best interest of everybody to have a suspension of the coach right now.”

The story was first reported by Irvin Muchnick, who blogs at Concussion Inc. Muchnick reported that Winslow’s molestation of the swimmer began when she was 15 years old and took place for more than two years while Winslow coached the Sun Devils Aquatics club team in Tempe, Ariz.

“This heartbreaking and absolutely gut-wrenching story further demonstrates the need for a drastic change in the sex abuse culture that has permeated USA Swimming for decades,” said Robert Allard, attorney for the alleged victim’s family, in a statement. “Until these coaches firmly understand that there is absolutely no tolerance for this type of behavior … this type of sordid and sick activity will continue.”

While university administrators learned of the allegations about 12 hours prior to the suspension, ASU police placed a call to the U Police in early December, according to university spokesman Keith Sterling. U Police did not disclose the phone call to any administrators.

Winslow’s suspension follows a history of suspicious behavior. The U’s Office of Equal Opportunity investigated Winslow earlier in the season following complaints from the families of dismissed team members Austin Fiascone and Karson Applin. Much of the investigation centered around an alleged abusive and racially-oriented incident regarding Applin, the team’s only black swimmer at the time.

The incident occurred on Martin Luther King Jr. Day of 2010. According to Applin, he was joking about getting practice off because he was black.

The team was swimming underwaters, an exercise in which the swimmer must swim the entire length of the pool without surfacing for air. After a couple rotations, Winslow allegedly pulled Applin out of the pool and proceeded to tape a long, thin PVC pipe to his back. Applin said Winslow then wrapped tape around his stomach and chest, then taped his outstretched hands to the pipe above his head. Applin was then told to proceed with the underwaters. The pool’s gutters made it difficult for Applin to stand because the PVC pipe would get stuck in the gutter’s overhang.

“The next thing I knew, I woke up in Greg’s lap,” Applin said. “I didn’t even know I had blacked out.”

Sterling said Rainbow Push, Rev. Jesse Jackson’s civil rights organization, contacted the university about Applin’s incident, though he couldn’t provide any further information.

The OEO recommended no disciplinary action when the investigation concluded on Jan. 24.
Diving coach Richard Marschner was appointed interim head coach in light of Winslow’s suspension. Utah’s women’s team is competing in the Pac-12 Championships in Federal Way, Wash. The women’s swim team wraps up the Pac-12 championships Saturday, and the men’s conference championship begins the following day.

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