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U Swim Statement from U President David Pershing and Chris Hill


March 11, 2013
Statement from President David Pershing

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.  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.

Late yesterday, Special Assistant to the President and Director of Athletics Chris Hill asked me to appoint an independent investigator to review these allegations.  One of my major goals since becoming president is to enhance the quality of the student experience and that certainly includes our student-athletes.  I believe that transparency is essential in such cases and I have authorized a comprehensive, independent review of the University’s swim program, with investigators reporting directly to me and presenting their ultimate findings to me.  I have asked Michael Glazier and Alan Sullivan to lead the investigation.

Michael Glazier, a partner in the nationally recognized law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King, based in Kansas City, Missouri, has been practicing law for more than 30 years and has an impeccable record and experience in higher education and collegiate athletics investigations.  Alan Sullivan is a highly respected member of the Salt Lake City legal community and is a trusted lawyer of over four decades with the regional law firm of Snell & Wilmer.

Specifically, I have charged Mr. Glazier and Mr. 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.  I have requested that they conduct their review with the utmost urgency while ensuring that it is comprehensive and accurate.

Both Chris Hill and I are committed to our student-athletes and ultimately, it is our responsibility to provide them with a safe and positive experience at the University of Utah.  I am proud of our University students who are at the core of our mission and we will use the results of this review to strengthen all of our programs.

To protect the integrity of the independent review, I will not comment further until the review is completed.”

Statement from Special Assistant to the President Chris Hill:

“As an educator, administrator and father, I have been a lifelong advocate for student-athletes and have worked hard to ensure their success, safety and well-being.   The breadth and depth of these allegations are deeply distressing.  If I or any member of our department inadequately addressed any allegation or failed in any of our duties, then we will immediately take appropriate actions and enact measures to further protect our student-athletes moving forward.”