Former Cal Swim Coach Teri McKeever Suspended by U.S. Center for SafeSport

Teri McKeever
Photo Courtesy: Peter Bick

Former Cal Swim Coach Teri McKeever Suspended by U.S. Center for SafeSport

Teri McKeever, the former head coach of the University of California women’s swim team, has been suspended by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.

McKeever agreed to a three-month suspension from any events sanctioned by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. She was placed on probation for a further 12 months and is not allowed to contact any athletes involved in the allegations against her.

The news was first reported by Southern California News Group, whose investigation into McKeever’s actions in May 2022 led to her eventual dismissal.

As part of the SafeSport notice, McKeever admitted fault in emotionally and physically abusing swimmers, including pressuring them to train or compete while injured. She also admitted to using racist and demeaning language. McKeever has long portrayed herself as a victim of gender discrimination within American swimming as allegations surfaced and then multiplied against her, with the group of accusers growing to more than 40 current or former swimmers.

The SafeSport investigation, which took 18 months, included 19 athletes attesting to more than 90 incidents spanning between 2000 and 2022.

In speaking with SCNG, six-time NCAA champion Cindy Tran lamented what she sees as a slap on the wrist from SafeSport.

“To think that that’s all they’re going to give her is a slap in the face,” Tran said. “It’s just strange to think that a year from now she can be back on a (pool) deck coaching and who knows with what intention. It just seems like they wanted to be done with it. She can be back in a year after 20 plus years, 30 years of her coaching and behaving the way she has.”

McKeever’s behavior has tarnished what once was a trailblazing career. She was the first woman to lead a U.S. Olympic swim team. She coached the Golden Bears to four NCAA titles and mentored more than a dozen Olympians.

McKeever was placed on leave when the allegations surfaced and then fired in January 2023 amid litigation on campus. A group of swimmers is suing the university over McKeever’s actions.

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5 months ago

“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones” : William Shakespeare / Julius Caesar / Marc Antony. Does this apply to the Fair Sex, too? Surely some huge gob of lawsuit $ will cushion the horrific traumas that some of Mc Keever’s swimmers experienced… ? Tsk, tsk! How the mighty have fallen!

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