Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
U. appoints independent investigators in swim coach allegations
College athletics » The school vows to investigate alleged abuses by ex-swim coach and the handling of complaints.
First Published Mar 11 2013 09:22 am • Last Updated Mar 12 2013 08:01 am

The University of Utah has appointed independent investigators to review the school’s handling of complaints by student athletes and their parents regarding embattled swim coach Greg Winslow.

On Monday morning, Utah President David Pershing announced Michael Glazier, a Kansas City, Mo., attorney, and Alan Sullivan, a Salt Lake City attorney, would lead the investigation.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"This past week, public reports of alleged misconduct by a former swim coach and of the University of Utah’s response to those allegations have called into question the university’s processes and our commitment to our student-athletes," Pershing said in a news release. "Though I cannot comment on specific allegations, I can state unequivocally that any conduct by a staff member or student that jeopardizes the safety and well-being of any student will not be tolerated."

Pershing said he had specifically asked Glazier and Sullivan "to determine what, if any, incidents occurred within the swimming program; when did those incidents take place; what information was conveyed to the University about these incidents; what, if any, actions were taken in response; and what recommendations, if implemented, would better ensure the safety and well-being of our student athletes at the university."

The investigation follows a series of allegations regarding the school’s swimming program. Last week, the university announced it had suspended Winslow and would not renew his contract amid allegations of sexual misconduct with a 15-year-old girl six years ago in Arizona.

But parents of former swimmers allege the school’s athletics department overlooked or improperly investigated allegations of physical and psychological abuse and failed to protect the confidentiality of whistle-blowing athletes.

Parents expressed myriad concerns about the coach even before Winslow was suspended and the university announced it would not renew his contract. Yahoo! Sports first reported Friday that parents and athletes sent "piles" of letters to the university, dating as far back as February 2008.

The allegations against Winslow included:

• Showing up to practices hungover or still drunk

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

story continues below
story continues below

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

• Missing competitions

• 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.

Athletics director Chris Hill would not discuss when he first learned of the allegations against Winslow, saying he wanted to be "pure on the process."

A former associate athletic director, Pete Oliszczak, was directly over the school’s swimming and diving team. Oliszczak, who was at the University of North Dakota in the late 1990s at the same time Winslow was a swimmer there, left the department in November of last year.

An email obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune shows the Hill responded to one parent’s written complaint around the same time. That email started an investigation by the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity, which ultimately found the allegations — including a separate claim of sexual misconduct —did not warrant punishment.

Hill would not say if Olisczak’s departure was related to the investigation into Winslow.

When asked if he had ever been concerned about the safety of the swimmers on the team, Hill flatly said, "No."

"But we’ll find out more if we do," he added. "The reality is, today on is looking at trying to find everything we did, everything we should have done, everything that’s out there. And then it’s complete."


Twitter: @aaronfalk

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.