USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey Responds to Bob Bowman Inappropriate Text Messages

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By David Rieder.

Before the Wednesday evening finals session at the Phillips 66 National Championships, USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey addressed the news that Bob Bowman, the head coach of the 2016 men’s Olympic team and longtime coach of Michael Phelps, sent inappropriate text messages to retired Olympian Caroline Burckle in 2011.

Hinchey emphasized that it’s hard to offer judgement on something that happened the seven years ago, but he did not hide his disapproval with Bowman’s actions.

“I haven’t talked to Bob since the press came out,” Hinchey said. “Certainly in hindsight, I don’t think that’s how I would have handled the situation, quite frankly. At the same time, regardless of age, gender, athlete, non-athlete, I don’t think anyone deserves to have communication like that.

“As far as speculating about the future, I’ll leave that with Lindsay Mintenko for now. Bob doesn’t feel very good about this, based on his reaction. People make mistakes, and you can’t turn back the clock.”

Asked again how he would have handled punishment during a similar situation during his time as CEO of the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, Hinchey answered, “I’d like to think that that’s someone who wouldn’t be working with the Rapids.”

Hinchey also said that properly handling sexual abuse issues are at the top of his priority list. He explained that he has held numerous recent meetings regarding the issue, including discussions with National team athletes during visits to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

“I’ve said, ‘zero tolerance,’ and I mean it,” Hinchey said. “Even though I grew up in swimming and I love swimming, I’m new. So I have an opportunity to completely set the slate, ‘This is our expectation going forward. This is our expectation and accountability for all of swimming.’”

2 Comments

2 comments

  1. avatar
    Sarcasmo

    Mr. Hinchey…your 20/20 hindsight is fantastic.

  2. avatar

    Typical response to a high powered white male at the top. Nothing will happen and Mr. Hinchey’s response was weak. I am a USA swimming coach and if I did anything remotely close to what Bowman has done I wouldn’t be coaching on deck. Once again white privilege prevails. Totally disgusting!

Author: David Rieder

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David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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