Former Makos Coach Joseph Diaz Banned for Life by USA Swimming

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, July 18. USA Swimming banned Joseph Michael Diaz for life today as he was added to the organization’s Banned for Life list.

Diaz, who was a part-time coach with the Makos Aquatic Club in Gainesville, Fla., was arrested in April for allegedly sexually battering a boy he coached and also forcing another into taking nude photographs and sexually explicit videos, according to the Gainesville Sun.

Diaz was quickly fired by the Makos after his arrest, and USA Swimming immediately began an investigation into banning Diaz.

Diaz was officially banned on June 17, 2014, and his punishment was made public following his 30-day appeal window.

Diaz was found to have been in violation of three separate Code of Conduct sections:

304.3.6 Conviction of, imposition of a deferred sentence for, or any plea of guilty or no contest at any time, past or present, or the existence of any pending charges, for (i) any felony, (ii) any offense involving use, possession, distribution or intent to distribute illegal drugs or substances, (iii) any crime involving sexual misconduct, or (iv) any criminal offense against a minor.

304.3.8 Any inappropriate sexual conduct or advance, or other oral, written, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature directed towards an athlete by (i) a coach member or other non-athlete member, or (ii) any other adult participating in any capacity whatsoever in the activities of USA Swimming (whether such adult is a member or not). Any act of sexual harassment, including without limitation unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in connection with or incidental to a USA Swimming-related activity by any person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming (whether such person is a member or not) directed toward any member or other person participating in the affairs or activities of USA Swimming.

304.3.19 Any other material and intentional act, conduct or omission not provided for above, which is detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming, a LSC or the sport of swimming.

These cases are the simplest for USA Swimming to handle in terms of actually applying a lifetime ban. Since merely being arrested for such a crime is backed by the House of Delegates to lead to a lifetime ban, USA Swimming can let law enforcement do its job in taking individuals off the streets, and not just off the deck.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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