[UPDATED with Reid Clarifies Coker:] Did Nadadores Swim Club Bury its Head in the Deep End as Underage Sex Claim Surfaced?
UPDATE, MARCH 26, 5:27 P.M.: Appreciative that someone other than family reads his Orange County Register pieces, staff writer Scott M. Reid just shot over an email clarifying the time line in my original post about his bombshell story on the internationally known Nadadores Swim Club of Mission Viejo, a former coach and female teen swimmer linked romantically. Reid's email, which follows after the jump, also notes something that I missed in his original article: that Ad'm Dusenbury quit amid the allegations, moved to Palo Alto and then was called back to the Nadadores.
Here's that email:
I just wanted to drop you a line to clarify something that was in your recent post about the Mission Viejo Nadadores. In the story Sunday I referred to Rick Brotherton being appalled at the club's reaction to the Dusenbury situation. That was in reference to the club's reaction this past August. Dusenbury resigned, then was allowed to withdraw the resignation and return to the club. Several parents were upset with the decision to call him back from Palo Alto. Coaches and club officials opposed the club firing him yet would not view the material raising the allegations. That is what Mr. Brotherton was upset with and why he left the club.
Mr. Brotherton was not on the board in 2006 and I'm not sure he was even at the club at the time. I do believe that if he had been aware of the rumors and red flags about Dusenbury and the girl in 2006 he would have followed the proper procedures then just as he did in August.
I also wanted to say I appreciate you taking notice of our reporting in your blog. It's nice to know someone besides my family is reading the paper.
All the best,
Scott M. Reid
The Orange County Register
Back atcha, big guy.
ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 26, 2:28 P.M.: Since forming in 1968, athletes from the Nadadores Swim Club of Mission Viejo have won 47 National Team Championships, 12 Olympic Gold Medals, 7 Olympic Silver Medals, 1 Olympic Bronze Medal, 5 Individual World Championship titles and 148 individual National Championships. The club has produced 135 All-Americans, and 91 American and 22 world records have been shattered along the way. But the club is now generating something else: allegations that it covered up a onetime rising star coach's sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female Nadadores swimmer.
Orange County Register investigative reporter Scott M. Reid is carving out an interesting niche beat. He broke the news in September about multiple, decades-old sexual trysts involving underage gymnasts and U.S. Olympic team coach Don Peters. That led to Peters leaving his internationally renowned SCATS gym in Huntington Beach--and Orange County, for that matter--and his eventual ban from the sport.
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Reid broke the news last week about underage sex allegations from 2006 surrounding another internationally known coach: Ad'm Dusenbury--full name Daniel Ad'm Dusenbury, 34--who was director of the 13/14 Division at the "world famous" Nadadores club and the "world's best" coach, according to his short-lived 2009 blog.
The reaction from the Nadadores to the story coming to light now prove that when it comes to denying or minimizing adult employees having illegal sex with minors years ago, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange is not alone in standing by its men.
Parents, Nadadores coaches and team officials apparently knew back in 2006 that Dusenbury was romatically involved with the 16-year-old Aliso Viejo High School student. Then, last August, board members were handed a DVD diary that Dusenbury and the girl made to chronicle their relationship. Reportedly included were the dates and locations where they got it on, and there is said to be at least one image of the girl in her underwear on Dusenbury's bed.
And yet, Dusenbury was allowed to keep coaching through October, when he left for the Voices for Children, "a research and advocacy organization committed to making young children's issues a priority" in San Antonio, Texas.
Nadadores head coach Bill Rose all along dismissed the allegations as false but, curiously, he also just told Reid he never viewed the DVD.
"What relationship?" Rose reportedly asked during the interview. "They're just allegations. . . . We followed the proper procedures."
In a long statement about Reid's report that I have added to the end of this post, the Nadadores say the story is "stale" and filled with so many "inaccuracies" and "false statements," the club wonders why the Register bothered printing it. The statement goes on to say that after a woman who described herself as Dusenbury's ex-girlfriend handed a board member the DVD, the coach was immediately suspended with pay pending an investigation.
The sport's governing body, USA Swimming, and the Orange County Sheriff's Department were contacted, and each launched separate probes, according to the statement. The sheriff's department ultimately determined there was insufficient evidence of a crime. USA Swimming recommended supervised probation for Dusenbury as their investigation continued, according to the Nadadores, but he left the club instead and has not been affiliated with it since.
The statement claims the ex-girlfriend has since denied the allegations. She is reportedly described as "angry" and "vengeful" in an email to the Register from Kathleen Fletcher, the Voices for Children president and Dusenbury cheerleader.
I do understand that, like any organization that works with or serves children, USA Swimming has to investigate any allegation. I also know that allegations may or may not be true. We followed up on references both here and in California--all excellent. To avoid any risk, the CEO of the major organization of which we are a partner agency did some additional contacting of people and of course we did a background check--no problems other than apparently an angry and vengeful ex-girlfriend...Ad'm has done an excellent job for us.
Reid also heard from former Nadadores board of directors chairman Rick Brotherton, who said he was so perturbed by the relationship everyone was talking about as it was going on--and even more so by the official cover up after it was exposed--that he quit and pulled his kids out of the club.
"I didn't agree with the fact that he was still on (the pool) deck," Brotherton reportedly says. "I thought by my staying there I was making a statement that I felt everything was fine and I didn't believe everything was fine. So we left. I didn't want people thinking 'The Brothertons are still here. It must not be as bad as they're saying it is.'"
Considering the possibility that many may have buried their heads in the deep end, USA Swimming has shifted the focus of its investigation from the allegations to the apparent Nadadores cover up. From San Antonio, Dusenbury has kept his mouth shut.
Since 1968, the Mission Viejo Nadadores has proudly served the community through its competitive swimming program. The Nadadore Foundation, its team members, coaches, and staff, are disappointed the Orange County Register would publish a stale story with so many inaccuracies and unsubstantiated rumors.
The Mission Viejo Nadadores takes allegations of improper behavior or misconduct very seriously. The Mission Viejo Nadadores Foundation board of directors acted swiftly to inform Orange County law enforcement authorities and USA Swimming as soon as it learned of the allegations mentioned in the story.
USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming, is currently conducting an investigation into allegations of an inappropriate relationship between former Mission Viejo Nadadores swim coach Ad'm Dusenbury and a 16-year old female swimmer that was purported to have taken place in 2006. The alleged victim, who is now an adult, has denied the allegations are true.
The Nadadore team is currently thriving with its membership at one of the highest points in its forty-five year history. This year the team has the largest contingent of Olympic trial qualifiers in its storied history. The MVN Board, coaches, staff, and team members are proud to be a part of this outstanding organization.
A timeline follows:
On August 8, 2011, the president of the Mission Viejo Nadadores board of directors was asked to meet with a woman who claimed to be Mr. Dusenbury's ex-girlfriend. She gave the president a CD containing photocopied pages of a day planner that she asserted contained handwritten entries by Mr. Dusenbury and a 16-year old female swim team member back in 2006. On August 9, 2011, the board convened an emergency conference call and voted to suspend Mr. Dusenbury with pay pending further investigation. The board also voted to immediately report the allegations to the Orange County Sheriff's office. The Sheriff's office was contacted that same day. The Sheriff's office completed its investigation on August 16, 2011 and informed the board that there was insufficient evidence to warrant pressing charges against Mr. Dusenbury.
In accordance with the USA Swimming Athlete Protection Act, the matter was turned over to the national organization, USA Swimming. Despite a lack of evidence to support criminal charges, Mr. Dusenbury was placed on strict supervised probation while this matter was investigated by USA Swimming. At no time was Mr. Dusenbury allowed to coach unsupervised or provide unsupervised private lessons while on probation as the article incorrectly states.
On October 22, 2011, Mr. Dusenbury resigned his position with the Nadadores and has not been a member of the coaching staff or associated with the team in any manner.
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