Cal has long been a female swimming and diving coach Terry McKiver on administrative leave following explosive allegations of verbal and emotional abuse by current and former athletes on Tuesday. The Orange County Register published a report following an investigation by the South California News Group, which found that at least six California athletes had considered suicide by 2018 because of McKeever’s alleged misconduct.
Around 5:00 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday afternoon, Cal issued a statement in which the Athletic Director Jim Knowlton revealed that McKeever has been placed on administrative leave. The move came after Knowlton met with members of the swimming and diving team to inform them of the decision. “As mentioned, these allegations run counter to our core values and expectations for each member of our department. “As the person who has been entrusted with the well-being of more than 1,000 student-athletes, coaches and staff, I have no greater responsibility than to ensure that we do the right thing in the right way,” Knowlton said in part. He will also go on to say that the Sports Department intends to respond to “everyone” who addresses and has resources to program members in need.
This SCNG report found nineteen current and former Golden Bears swimmers, six parents and a member of the men’s swimming and diving team who claim that McKeever has been verbally and emotionally abusing its athletes for “decades”. Allegations of abuse made by these athletes range from shouting and cursing at swimmers (“lazy”, “useless”, etc.) to calling them swimmers, Daniel Carter“Sad” after learning of an incident in which Carter considered suicide.
Following the publication of the report on Tuesday, the “majority” of California swimmers withdrew from training on Wednesday morning. According to the Orange County Record, which says it spoke to four people familiar with the situation, the swimmers were informed they had a group meeting on Wednesday morning. Allegedly, when the swimmers showed up, McKeever asked if they were “ready to swim” and then read a “basic” statement. After that, OCR journalist Scott Reid says that “the majority” withdrew from the practice.
The Orange County registry says McKeever is under investigation by the U.S. Center for Safe Sports, according to emails they have received.
McCiver has coached the California women’s team for the past 29 seasons, and coached the U.S. Olympic Team in 2012 and has been a member of the U.S. Team coaching staff for 2 other Olympic Games as well as 7 World Champions. She is considered by many to be the most accomplished female coach in the history of swimming.
With McKiver on leave, newly hired assistant coach Jesse Moore will probably have to serve as interim coach of the women’s team. Moore was hired in mid-April and is therefore on campus with the Golden Bears for only a few weeks. Moore is the only other swimming coach other than McKiver who is currently on the women’s program staff.