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U. of Utah trustees retain 3rd investigator in swim coach review


By Aaron Falk

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Mar 25 2013 05:30PM
Updated Apr 10, 2013 07:50AM

The University of Utah’s Board of Trustees has retained its own expert as part of the ongoing review of the school’s athletics department and its handling of student-athletes’ complaints about embattled swim coach Greg Winslow.

John T. Nielsen, a former prosecutor and Utah commissioner of public safety, will work with Michael Glazier and Alan Sullivan, two attorneys appointed by the U. earlier this month to conduct a review of the allegations.

"A review team is now in place to examine the allegations that have been made," Board of Trustees vice chairwoman Michele Mattsson said Monday in a news release. "We have retained outside experts to determine what took place, what was communicated to the university and how it responded. We are also seeking recommendations from the review group to ensure the continued safety and well-being of our student-athletes."

The university on Feb. 28 announced it had suspended Winslow amid allegations of sexual misconduct with a 15-year-old swimmer six years ago in Arizona. No criminal charges have been filed, and a spokesman for the Maricopa County (Arizona) Attorney’s Office said there is no time frame for when the office might make a decision on the matter.

Aside from the criminal investigation, some former swimmers and their parents said they have long had concerns about Winslow, and have sent letters to the Utah athletics department that largely went ignored for years. The allegations against Winslow, outlined in written correspondence dating as far back as 2008, included:

• showing up to practices hung over or still drunk;

• having outbursts of anger, at one time throwing bags full of ankle weights at an athlete in a hotel;

• failing to report two swimmers being caught buying marijuana on a trip to Arizona;

• missing competition;

• punching an assistant coach;

• taping a PVC pipe to the back, arms and hands of a black swimmer who had joked about being let of out practice for Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2010, then forcing the student-athlete to swim underwater sprints until he blacked out in the pool.

No time table for the review’s completion has been announced. At the conclusion of the process, the three investigators will present their findings to the trustees, officials said Monday.

afalk@sltrib.comTwitter: @aaronfalk

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