When Mark Schubert wakes up in the morning, he puts his pants on one leg at a time. After that, he keeps finding ways to do bad stuff.
This week in Schubert-land, his lawyer friend, Richard Foster will face state bar ethics charges over his conduct with former National Teamer Dagny Knutson. Foster was sanctioned last month for his double dealing with Knutson.
Schubert stepped up for his buddy big time in the trial, testifying for the defense. He was either acting out of allegiance to his friend or in defense of his own conduct vis-a-vis Knutson. Let’s take them one by one.
Swimming Power Broker
Richard Foster is not a name that a lot of average swimming people know, but he was well known at the top of the sport. He wasn’t just friends with Mark “Beelzebub” Schubert, but also the Executive Director of USA Swimming Chuck Wielgus.
Central to his culpability with regards to Knutson was that while representing her against USA Swimming, he was emailing his chum Wielgus, assuring him that everything would be hunky dory.
You won’t find any news coming out of this week’s Aquatic Sports Convention, USA Swimming’s annual gathering, about Foster, of course. He will be conveniently forgotten by the same insiders who would like to continue business as usual.
Among the other swimming luminaries that Foster is being charged with improperly communicating with is attorney Rich Young. Again, another name that is not on the tip of the tongue of most swimming people.
Rich Young is a longtime outside council for USA Swimming and was part of the committee that chose new USA Swimming head Tim Hinchey. He also has been part of FINA and done some work for WADA, an organization everyone loves right now.
What does any of this have to do with Beelzebub? After being rightfully excised like a tumor from his post as National Team Director, Schubert’s tentacles and sphere of influence still pervades to the highest level of USA Swimming.
The Betrayal of Dagny Knutson
To bring this back to Knutson for a moment, here’s a story that is worth repeating:
Mark Schubert successfully convinced Knutson to forego a full scholarship to Auburn University and give up her amateur status. He did so to send her to train with a man who he had reason to suspect had groomed and sexually abused his most prominent athlete.
When everything fell apart shortly after, Schubert and USA Swimming flushed Dagny Knutson’s swimming career down the toliet.
It’s easy to pick on lawyers in this day and age, but I have to say, at least they have a bar association that is willing to stand up and do something when somebody like Foster violates basic ethics of their profession.
In swimming, we are stuck with coaching organizations that not only don’t hold Schubert accountable, but actually praise and exalt him.
Schubert was on a panel earlier this month at the American Swim Coaches Association “World Clinic” to talk about, I kid you not, “professionalism in coaching”. By the way, if this is what professionalism looks like, I want to remain 100% amateur:
Schubert was there despite the fact that ASCA Executive Director John Leonard has made railing against China for state sponsored doping a hill he wants to die on. Schubert was on deck as a coach for China at this summer’s Asian games, touting how they’ve cleaned up their game now that he’s collecting a fat check.
I guess, like his illustrious fake career as a deadly Vietnam sniper, that was just more fake posturing by Leonard.
This has been a Mark Schubert Update: Still very bad and disturbingly well connected in the world of swimming.