Summary: Swarbrick and USA Gymnastics
I've noticed a lot of posts asking for links to Swarbrick's deposition or not being aware of certain aspects. I've combined some of my own research as well as posts of others (88_92WSND, Kbyrnes, cj, ACross, Pitbull, peeps, tsl4264, MrBeef, and beattherush) to get a comprehensive timeline/summary. Let me know if there's anything salient missing.
According to USA Gymnastics Magazine, Swarbrick attends a US Olympic Gymnastics team meeting. The article describes him as “from Baker & Daniels, the firm representing the USGF as legal counsil [sic].”
Nassar joins USA Gymnastics as an athletic trainer.
Nassar commits his first known assault in 1992 while earning his medical degree at Michigan State.
USA Gymnastics Magazine describes Swarbrick as “the corporation’s general counsel.” It notes that he “continues to work with the organization on a daily basis.”
Swarbrick writes an article for Technique Magazine under a byline that credits him as “Counsel to USA Gymnastics.”
According to IndyStar, USA Gymnastics “compiled confidential sexual misconduct complaint files about 54 coaches over a 10-year period from 1996 to 2006, court records show. It’s unclear which, if any, of the complaints in those files were reported to authorities. It’s also unclear how many files have been added since 2006.”
“In a 2013 lawsuit filed by one of that coach’s victims, two former USA Gymnastics officials admitted under oath that the organization routinely dismissed sexual abuse allegations as hearsay unless they came directly from a victim or victim’s parent.”
Larissa Boyce reports Nassar to MSU authorities.
In a 2007 book entitled "How to Keep Your Children Safe: A Guide for Parents," the author has the following citation:
Swarbrick, Jack. "USA Gymnastics Code of Ethics: Sexual Misconduct." Womensport 2, no.3 (1997).
Technique Magazine: “USA Gymnastics attorney, Jack Swarbrick, reviewed a number of recent Court cases and concluded: ‘I believe the case summaries offer compelling testimony for the importance of creating and administering the type of member misconduct procedure you now employ [in 1998]. Even more so, they demonstrate why your clubs should be supportive of those efforts. While the analysis and outcomes in these cases differ, each demonstrates that 1) minors who are victims of sexual abuse will increasingly seek to recover from those individuals and insittutions that could have or should have taken steps to protect them from the abusers and 2) courts are willing to extend liability to those classes of defendants.’”
USA Gymnastics begins to compile complaint file against James Bell. Bell had sexual assault allegations in his police file before joining USA Gymnastics, from as early as 1990.
USA Gymnastics CEO Robert Colarossi sends a letter (used as an exhibit in McKayla Maroney's 2017 lawsuit against USAG and USOC) to the president of the United States Olympic Committee about USA Gymnastic's ability to suspend employees charged with a child abuse-related felony. When the USOC said this policy failed to meet its standard of providing hearings before suspensions, Swarbrick attempted to broker a compromise with Scott Blackmun, general counsel of USOC.
"Jack recommended to us that USAG agree to forego our ability to suspend individuals who had been charged with a crime, but retain our ability to deny the privilege of membership where the judicial process had resulted in a felony conviction. This was not a compromise we were thrilled with (it meant that an individual who is arrested for child molestation and freed on bond can go back to the gym and coach the next day), but one we were prepared to live with in the interest of getting the matter behind us."
The USOC rejected this compromise, saying "a hearing must be provided for in all situations."
Swarbrick is listed as “General Council [sic]” for USA Gymnastics in Technique Magazine.
Swarbrick is listed as “USA Gymnastics legal council [sic]” in Technique Magazine.
James Bell is arrested in Rhode Island, five years after USA Gymnastics began to compile complaints against him.
USAG President Robert Colarossi describes "our counsel" Swarbrick as working "closely with the lead counsel for the USOC" in a 2004 lawsuit.
Nassar is reported to the police, but no charges are referred to prosecutors.
Swarbrick, described as representing USA Gymnastics, heads the search committee that hires Steve Penny as USA Gymnastics President.
Swarbrick is hired by Notre Dame. Penny says, “Jack is a visionary and strategic leader with a strong sense for serving the best interests of great institutions such as Notre Dame.”
According to Irv Muchnick at concussioninc.net, Swarbrick “did not deny that he had counseled USA Swimming on sex abuse in the late 1990s.” Muchnick says according to his sources that Swarbrick warned USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus “that the issue of sexual molestation by swimming coaches of youth athletes under their tutelage posed a grave threat to the organization. The sources say Swarbrick’s advice was instrumental in the formation by USA Swimming of a task force on sex abuse in the early 2000s.”
Swarbrick is deposed in a suit in which a former swimmer sued her former coach and USA Swimming over sexual abuse. In the deposition, Swarbrick:
1. Refuses to describe the general context of his representation of USA Swimming, citing attorney-client privilege.
2. Does not remember when his firm, Baker & Daniels, represented USA Swimming. He does not know when the relationship started or how long it lasted, only that it began more than 10 years prior.
3. Says he has known Chuck Wielgus since the ’80s and speaks to him about twice a year (as of 2012).
4. Does not remember making a presentation at a USA Swimming board meeting.
5. Acknowledges meeting John Leonard, Chairman of United States Swimming Steering Committee for USA Olympic Team, but has no idea how many times. When asked if it was “more than five or like just once,” Swarbrick says he does not know.
6. Does not remember a discussion with Leonard about sexual misconduct, which Leonard apparently described in a separate deposition.
7. Says that he has done legal work for “USA Gymnastics, USA Synchronized Swimming. Rowing, canoe/kayak, swimming, diving skiing.”
8. Says he is aware (as of 2012) of sexual misconduct scandals involving coaches and athletes in USA Gymnastics. When asked “Have you advised USA Gymnastics in that situation?” Swarbrick’s attorney allowed him to answer a yes/no question. However, Swarbrick said, “They were clients. … I’m not going to talk about anything I advised them on specifically.”
9. Refuses to answer if he is aware of scandals involving sexual misconduct in USA Swimming.
10. Says, “I didn’t come here to have you call me a liar,” when deposing attorney expresses suspicion at Swarbrick’s use of attorney/client privilege because “There’s never been a privilege log with his name on it.”
Sometime between 2013 and 2015, Swarbrick's representation of USA Gymnastics is deleted from his official Notre Dame bio.
Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon is informed that an unnamed sports medicine doctor is under investigation.
USA Gymnastics fires Nassar “after learning of athlete concerns.” Nassar remains employed at MSU, which fires him in September 2016. Indy Star first published its investigation into USA Gymnastics in August.
Eighteen victims file a federal lawsuit against Nassar, MSU, and USA Gymnastics for crimes committed between 1996 and 2016. Steve Penny resigns.
Nassar is sentenced. Three USA Gymnastics directors are forced out. MSU president Lou Anna Simon resigns.
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