Richard Callaghan banned by the Center for SafeSport

VGThuy

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29,854
Did everyone really know though? Like I cannot imagine Tara’s mother knew and still let her train with him.
I'm trying to be nice and reply to this in the manner that is most generous to them, but I can imagine a lot skating parents knowing and compartmentalizing it and thinking their child won't be in danger. I also don't blame a lot of parents in the 1990s who didn't think the accusations held weight yet because let's be honest, people today still don't want to believe this. It's a real shift in our perceptions of sexual assault.
 

CaliSteve

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586
I think USFS will be fine with this because Callaghan is getting on in years and is close to retirement. I don't think he's coaching any of the USFS stars, either. (Could be wrong about that, but it's got to be a limited number if it's not 0.)
Well, that is a problem. Why should it be a priority if the USFSA be ok with the punishment because Richard is getting close to retirement? A lot of damage has been done.

If you ask me, its too little, too late!
 

MacMadame

Cat Lady-in-Training
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29,417
Did everyone really know though? Like I cannot imagine Tara’s mother knew and still let her train with him.
The talk at the rink was that parents knew but they'd say things like "well my kid is a girl and he likes boys."

Obviously, I have no idea what Tara's parents thought. Or what they did or did not do to protect her. Hopefully, they did protect her.
 

CaliSteve

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586
I'm trying to be nice and reply to this in the manner that is most generous to them, but I can imagine a lot skating parents knowing and compartmentalizing it and thinking their child won't be in danger. I also don't blame a lot of parents in the 1990s who didn't think the accusations held weight yet because let's be honest, people today still don't want to believe this. It's a real shift in our perceptions of sexual assault.
It was mentioned in some article a while back that someone asked a mother if they were concerned with Richard coaching her daughter, and the mother replied that she wasnt worried because she is a girl.....

It goes to show you that its the whole skating culture and its values.
 

VGThuy

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29,854
It was mentioned in some article a while back that someone asked a mother if they were concerned with Richard coaching her daughter, and the mother replied that she wasnt worried because she is a girl.....

It goes to show you that its the whole skating culture and its values.
I honestly think it's easy to blame skating culture in isolation when I think that's just society as a whole and we see this sort of thing play out everywhere in all facets of life. Right now there's a cultural shift happening but that always takes time and takes combating a lot of resistance/old attitudes of those in power.
 

CaliSteve

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586
I honestly think it's easy to blame skating culture in isolation when I think that's just society as a whole and we see this sort of thing play out everywhere in all facets of life. Right now there's a cultural shift happening but that always takes time and takes combating a lot of resistance/old attitudes of those in power.
The skating culture in many ways is a reflection of society as a whole. Its a huge problem when one just looks for the end result.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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26,075
I'm trying to be nice and reply to this in the manner that is most generous to them, but I can imagine a lot skating parents knowing and compartmentalizing it and thinking their child won't be in danger. I also don't blame a lot of parents in the 1990s who didn't think the accusations held weight yet because let's be honest, people today still don't want to believe this. It's a real shift in our perceptions of sexual assault.
I've also heard of parents treating bad information about a coach as being put out by parents who want their own skater to monopolize that coach's time. Or by parents who don't want other skaters to get better coaching from that coach and then do better than their own kid.

There's also the reality in the politicized world of skating that some coaches' skaters get better opportunities than other coaches' skaters for workshops, additional training, competition assignments, etc. And sometimes that has more to do with the coach's own reputation or ability to politick than it does with the individual skater's skills or potential.
 
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CaliSteve

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I've also heard of parents treating bad information about a coach as being put out by parents who want their skater to monopolize that coach's time. Or by parents who don't want other skaters to get better coaching from that coach and then do better than their kid.

There's also the reality in the politicized world of skating that some coaches' skaters get better opportunities than other coaches' skaters for workshops, additional training, competition assignments, etc. And sometimes that has more to do with the coach's own reputation or ability to politick than it does with the individual skater's skills or potential.
Skating culture...
 

mag

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The talk at the rink was that parents knew but they'd say things like "well my kid is a girl and he likes boys."

Obviously, I have no idea what Tara's parents thought. Or what they did or did not do to protect her. Hopefully, they did protect her.
This. My understanding is the abuse of girls was emotional abuse. The yelling, maybe smacking with a skate guard, weigh ins, public shaming. All of which is terrible, but it is shocking how many parents, even today, think coaches that don’t do these things are weak and ineffective.

Most parents will not tolerate abuse (assuming they actually believe it is happening) but many will tolerate emotional abuse if they think it will get their child an Olympic medal.
 

Kasey

Fan of many, uber of none
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Most parents will not tolerate abuse (assuming they actually believe it is happening) but many will tolerate emotional abuse if they think it will get their child an Olympic medal.
That's because many consider emotional abuse to be "character building" and not what it actually is.
 

Lacey

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10,979
In US, the Richard Callaghan story was on NBC National News tonight, Thursday August 22 with Lester Holt as host. Talks about how Richard is now going to be banned for life because of allegations of him abusing athletes sexually. Tara filmed with him at Os as background. Craig Maurizi's story featured. Mention of former 60 Day limitations inside of USFS. Mentions that Craig refiled and he is quoted today as feeling vindicated. Also that Adam Schmidt filed. I think there might have been pics of Todd. Was also a print story in the Philly Inquirer, a good daily. Wish I knew how to link, nothing new but the story at least is out there, unfortunate as it is that it is real.
 
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greenapple

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Schmidt also feels vindicated and described it as a major victory. From an NYT article yesterday:

"Now he will be forever known as the predator who delivered medals to a corrupt organization who accepted them in exchange for the safety and protection of children."
 

Louis

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Susie Wynne's detailed account from Joan Ryan's book, Little Girls In Pretty Boxes, puts a time stamp of over 30 years on Callahan's trail of abuse. This man is a monster.
Susie Wynne is and was so, so, so brave. She spoke to Joan Ryan. She gave several interviews, risking her own TV commentating career, to say she believed Craig Maurizi. She spoke up when no one else did, and she lent support to anyone who tried to speak up. I hold her in such high regard. She had an unwavering moral compass when almost no one else did. Twenty years too late, but finally she has justice.

I would like to see Susie Wynne and the other people who spoke out against Callaghan twenty years ago officially recognized and given an official apology for the brutality and vitriol thrown at them. They all deserve courage medals.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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26,075
To follow up on @Louis suggestion, I remember that when Maurizi's complaint in 1999 was rejected, several people in skating showed their displeasure by making donations to the USFSA Memorial Fund "in honor of Craig Maurizi".

The Memorial Fund donations are listed in every issue of the USFS Skating magazine, along with the reason for the donation. I believe the revenues from the Memorial Fund provide grants to skaters in need.

A lot of Memorial Fund donations in honor of Suzie Wynne, Adam Schmidt, and/or Ashley Wagner would be a very visible signal to USFS that they need to do better.

ETA: Link to donate to the Memorial Fund is here: https://www.usfsa.org/story.aspx?id=83999
 
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Coco

Rotating while Russian!
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I always admired Tara for her public support for Craig when he first made his allegations public.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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26,075
I always admired Tara for her public support for Craig when he first made his allegations public.
IIRC Callaghan used that as "evidence" that Maurizi was only making the claims to build his coaching career, as Maurizi was working with Tara after she turned professional.
 

Lacey

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If I am not mistaken, Tara went off during the first week (?) of the Os to practice in another country away from the other events that went before the Ladies and perhaps to get better and more ice time. She went with Craig Maurizi. Callaghan stayed back at the Os. Now, he could have been working with others, but somewhere in the back of my very dense brain I remember that she also needed some kind of a break from Callaghan at that time also. No one can quote me on this because I am so vague I cannot be certain, but I am not one to make things up and am fairly sure. Of course, when she won, Craig might have started out on one side of some photos, but Callaghan took over the front and center position.
 

Artistic Skaters

Drawing Figures
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What does Todd Eldredge have to say about all this?
Here is a quote by Todd Eldredge from the Phil Hersh article in the Chicago Tribune regarding the original grievance filed in 1999 :
... Callaghan believes that the allegations have grown out of some skaters shifting blame to the coach for unfulfilled careers. Eldredge, 27, whom Callaghan has coached for 17 years, had a similar reaction when asked last month about allegations that had yet to become public.
"People have tried to bring that stuff up before and, to me, it is ridiculous," Eldredge said. "If you're successful, people always try to come up with something to taint your image."
The implication is apparently that "unsuccessful" skaters made horrible accusations against Callaghan for no reason. Take a look at the skaters who made allegations in 1999 besides Maurizi. Eddy Zeidler has a 20+ year career with Disney on Ice after doing competitive skating. He skated pairs with Sabrina Corbaci (Todd Eldredge's wife) and they medaled at two Nationals. Roman Fraden graduated from Berkley and has a career as a comedian. So I would not really consider this unsuccessful.
 

canbelto

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2,065
I would never presume to know what Tara's experience with Callaghan was but I will say that I found her sudden exit from competitive AND professional figure skating to be ... odd. I know she had injuries but after a season or two of SOI it's like she stopped skating.

There have been other sudden exits from the sport after great success. Tatiana Gutsu is an example. And now we know why with her.

It might really have been a situation where Tara felt that leaving the sport entirely was best for her.
 

Debbie S

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I would never presume to know what Tara's experience with Callaghan was but I will say that I found her sudden exit from competitive AND professional figure skating to be ... odd. I know she had injuries but after a season or two of SOI it's like she stopped skating.
Tara retired after the OGM to take advantage of the big-money opportunities in the sport back then. She skated with SOI through 2002, which I believe was the total length of her contract. I remember her being in the 02 tour b/c that was the year they had that ridiculous 'number' that consisted of her, Kristi and Katarina W talking about how great it was to be an OGM. Yes, she had a hip injury that required surgery and I think some back problems, but based on interviews, it sounded like she just didn't mesh with the cast and crew. Which is not surprising - she was 16 when she joined the tour and everyone else was in their 20s and 30s. Her mother was quoted somewhere complaining that no one wanted to hang out with Tara or be her best buddy but she was still expected to work hard (well, duh) but did she and her parents really think that 20- and 30-somethings would want to hang out with a teenager?

I always assumed that after her hip surgery, she just couldn't skate at a high level and/or her doc told her not to try. And it was clear she and SOI were done with each other. Not sure exactly what she did between pro skating and commentary (I think she was trying to get into acting?), but I assume she had plenty to live on from her pro days.
 

watchthis!!

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1,513
This. My understanding is the abuse of girls was emotional abuse. The yelling, maybe smacking with a skate guard, weigh ins, public shaming. All of which is terrible, but it is shocking how many parents, even today, think coaches that don’t do these things are weak and ineffective.

Most parents will not tolerate abuse (assuming they actually believe it is happening) but many will tolerate emotional abuse if they think it will get their child an Olympic medal.
The world has changed dramatically in regards to what is considered abuse compared to what was considered normal discipline of youth. There are many people from a generation or two ago who wished they had it so easy as to only experience a skate guard smack or being publicly shamed.
 

AxelAnnie

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Messages
11,310
If I am not mistaken, Tara went off during the first week (?) of the Os to practice in another country away from the other events that went before the Ladies and perhaps to get better and more ice time. She went with Craig Maurizi. Callaghan stayed back at the Os. Now, he could have been working with others, but somewhere in the back of my very dense brain I remember that she also needed some kind of a break from Callaghan at that time also. No one can quote me on this because I am so vague I cannot be certain, but I am not one to make things up and am fairly sure. Of course, when she won, Craig might have started out on one side of some photos, but Callaghan took over the front and center position.
Tara stayed in the Olympic village. Michelle stayed off site.
 

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