I'll be honest: I'm mad. I don't know where to start.
In the days since Ariana Kukors publicly revealed not only the brutal manipulation and abuse that Sean Hutchison inflicted on her, but the insidious grooming process he used to achieve it, the other characters in this story have been far too silent.
It's time to hold some feet to the fire. This blog is directed specifically at the media covering this story.
It is not an attack. It is a request. Hold their feet to the fire.
Who are they? Like I said, it's hard to know where to start. Here are two suggestions:
Schubert, who played a huge role in enabling Sean among many, many other things, is out in the media trying to cast himself as some sort of whistleblower that was ignored back in 2010.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Schubert took his knowledge of Sean and used it as leverage to his own gain. He gladly accepted $625,000 to keep his mouth shut and went his way.
Oh, and he hired the man, Bill Jewell, who oversaw Hutchison day to day at FAST, Jewell was another enabler who fashioned himself as a whistleblower. He was quoted in the original Washington Post article in 2010 saying that he had looked into the "rumors" and addressed them with Sean.
Jewell would go on to be banned for three years from coaching by USA Swimming after a real whistleblower, Dia Rianda, actually held some feet to the fire.
As Craig Lord aptly put in a facebook comment underneath Schubert's latest distortion, there is some basic journalism that anyone that talks to Schubert should engage in. Spend 5 minutes googling Mark Schubert and Sean Hutchison and catch up on some of the above. Ask some follow up questions.
Mark Schubert is not a hero in this story. He is one of the villains.
USA Swimming cannot be allowed to put out statements like the one they did for Kukors without strong pushback.
Here's the worst part of that statement:
"During the USA Swimming investigation, both Ariana and Hutchison, as well as Ariana’s sister, Emily, unequivocally denied the existence of a romantic or sexual relationship"
USA Swimming loves to be cagey with revealing details about their "investigations", but here they are changing the rules and burning Kukors to defend themselves.
Kukors own story provides so many questions USA Swimming needs to answer. Why did their investigation consist of one brief phone call to Kukors? Why were they in such a rush to consider this "case closed" and move on?
Why did they have to pay Mark Schubert $625,000 dollars for his silence if nothing happened?
Most importantly, where do they get off throwing a sexual abuse victim under the bus? How do they justify that their organization is somehow more important than the welfare of a human being?
So again, my request goes out. Craig Lord, Swimswam, Deadspin, Scott Reid at the OC Register and anyone else that has shown a modicum of interest in this story. Hold their feet to the fire, keep asking questions, and don't let up until we get the answers we deserve.