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As for allegations of physical and psychological abuse, the investigative committee was a bit vague on how all that went down. In a summary of the investigative report, it read: "With a limited number of possible exceptions in 2007-09, Winslow does not appear to have physically abused student-athletes."
A limited number? Isn’t one enough to fire the coach? A single example comes from 2010 when Winslow grabbed an athlete by the neck and pushed him against a wall.
Hill said he took action, telling Winslow to "knock off" some of his excessive drills, and investigators seemed to be satisfied that those drills ended. Psychological abuse, on the other hand, is the area where new attention supposedly will be paid.
The report said investigators found no evidence of racism from Winslow and no accounts of sexual relations with students.
Whether the committee uncovered everything it should have, whether it found the truth, everything that actually took place, is unknown.
But what is significant is something it did uncover and iterated and reiterated: that a powerful administrator like Hill, who has so many coaches, and more importantly student-athletes under his watch, has to keep prudent watch always. He has to know what’s going on in all of his programs.
It’s easy for the university, and maybe investigators, to blame guys like Winslow and Pete Oliszczak, the associate athletic director over swimming, both of whom have been fired. But what happens in Utah’s athletic department ultimately is Chris Hill’s responsibility. He’s the man who has to make sure his "core" is being properly attended to. His student-athletes have to be safe and confident that they won’t be abused, physically or psychologically or in any other way, by mentors placed over them by administrators. That comes first — even over winning.
Asked if he considered resigning during the fiasco, Hill said: "No. … I know what I did. I know what I could do better. If I thought I was in the way of having things be successful, I wouldn’t do [this job]."
Two things are clear: He still has that job and he needs to do it much better.
GORDON MONSON hosts "The Big Show" with Spence Checketts weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM/1280 and 960 AM The Zone. Twitter: @GordonMonson.
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