By SCOTT M. REID / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Former Mission Viejo Nadadores coach Daniel Ad'm Dusenbury has been banned for life by swimming's national governing body after acknowledging having an inappropriate relationship with a female teenage Nadadores swimmer, the Orange County Register has learned.
Another prominent Orange County swim coach, Bill Jewell, has resigned his coaching position at Golden West Swim Club in the wake of a Register story detailing allegations of his inappropriate conduct toward female teenage swimmers, the Register also has learned.
USA Swimming banned Dusenbury after an investigation into allegations that he had a long-term sexual relationship with a teenage swimmer. Nadadores officials told the Register last year that as early as 2006 Dusenbury, then 28, was involved with a then 15-year-old Nadadores swimmer, who also attended Aliso Niguel High. The relationship lasted for more than four years, officials said.Telephone messages to Dusenbury seeking comment were not returned.
A DVD provided to Nadadores officials and obtained by the Register contained photos of a 2006 diary in which Dusenbury and the girl purportedly chronicled their relationship, in often intimate detail, including dates and places where sex acts occurred. The diary also revealed that as early as May 2006, Dusenbury, who goes by Ad'm, believed Nadadores coaches were suspicious of his relationship with the girl, but continued to become more involved with her. The DVD also contained photos of a teenage girl in her underwear in Dusenbury's apartment and seated on his bed. Club officials and Nadadores parents have identified the girl as the former Aliso Niguel student.
"USA Swimming has suspended for life former Mission Viejo Nadadores coach Daniel Ad'm Dusenbury and has added his name to the public list of banned individuals," USA Swimming said in a statement released to the Register. "USA Swimming's case centered on Mr. Dusenbury's inappropriate relationship with a swimmer he coached while she was 15 and 16-years-old. The swimmer involved did not file a complaint with USA Swimming, denied any impropriety, and refused to participate in its investigation; however, Mr. Dusenbury concedes based on other evidence that an inappropriate relationship took place which violated USA Swimming's Code of Conduct. Therefore, Mr. Dusenbury elected not to contest the sanctions requested by USA Swimming, including a lifetime ban and publication of his name on USA Swimming's list of 'Individuals Permanently Suspended or Ineligible.'"
Jewell also is under investigation by USA Swimming for improper conduct involving teenage female swimmers at both the Fullerton Aquatic Sports Team and GWSC.
Jewell, who was fired by FAST in June 2011, did not respond to requests for comment. He has previously acknowledged making some improper comments but largely denied having inappropriate behavior toward young female athletes.
In sworn depositions, police reports, memos, letters and emails obtained by the Register, young female swimmers and Jewell's fellow coaches allege a pattern of inappropriate behavior by Jewell at both FAST and Golden West ranging from repeated sexual comments to improper touching of teenage female swimmers.
According to the documents, Jewell described one teenage female swimmer's breasts as a "nice rack," made comments to a 13-year-old girl about her virginity and sent text messages to female swimmers after hours, according to the documents. He showed up late for practices in the company of an underage female swimmer and repeatedly was seen leaving practice with a teenage swimmer.
As part of GWSC's adoption of Safe4Athletes policies and programs, the club has created an athlete welfare advocate position. The advocate will not only run background checks on GWSC employees and volunteers but also will be available to athletes or parents who have concerns about potential inappropriate behavior. Swimmers and coaches at the club were also briefed about inappropriate behavior by Safe4Athletes founder Katherine Starr.
"They're very clear on athlete-on-athlete abuse as well as coach and athlete relationships," said Starr, a former Olympic swimmer for Great Britain, who was raped when she was 14 by the British national team coach.
GWSC head coach Mark Schubert, the former U.S. national team director, has been criticized for not addressing complaints about Jewell sooner. Jewell and Schubert are longtime friends and Jewell was also an assistant coach under Schubert at USC.
Schubert did not respond to a request for comment.
"I do believe he's trying to do the right thing," Starr said of Schubert. Starr swam for Schubert at the University of Texas in the 1980s. "I think he went to his breaking point. I think he struggled between friendship and doing the right thing. And (the scandal) forced him to step outside and take a look (at the situation). It always gets clouded in personal relationships."
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