The news has shattered the world of competitive swimming as the veil of secrecy has been lifted and the truth revealed. Teri McKeever, the once celebrated Cal swimming coach, has been ousted from her position after a grueling eight-month investigation. The probe uncovered a dark side of abuse and mistreatment, as numerous athletes came forward with accusations against McKeever.
Dozens of complaints, ranging from verbal abuse to emotional manipulation, piled up against the former coach, leading to her eventual termination. This shocking turn of events has sent shockwaves throughout the swimming community and raises questions about the state of the sport.
Scott Reid, sports enterprise investigative reporter with the Orange County Register, told KCBS Radio he’s not surprised by her dismissal. “I didn’t think there would be any other way out of this situation,” he said. “The only result would be her termination.”
According to Reid, Cal was aware of some of the allegations against McKeever as early as 2010, but didn’t take any substantive action. “There was a swimmer, Abigail Spears, who filed a complaint in 2014.
It took Cal four years to even get back to her and then when they did, they basically slapped Teri McKeever on the wrist.” Reid explained. “They said she violated the school’s sexual harassment policy, but then they didn’t take any action against her.”
“That this didn’t go far enough,” Reid said, explaining the victims’ feelings. “That Jim Knowlton, the athletic director, needs to be fired. That Jennifer Simon-O’Neil — who’s one of McKeever’s closest friends, her direct supervisor, she’s the senior women’s administrator in the Cal athletic department — that they enabled McKeever’s behavior and ignored complaints and took no effective action.”
Knowlton released a statement on Tuesday, apologizing on behalf of Cal Athletics to every student athlete who was subject to the conduct in the past.