August 6, 2021 - Pacific Swimming Statement Regarding Incident on May 21, 2021
A tri-meet between PLS, LAC and TERA was held at the Cowell pool in Concord on May 21, 2021. No spectators were allowed in the venue following Covid-19 health directive.
During this meet an incident occurred where a PLS coach interfered with the meet operation in order to stop a swimmer from participating during an event. Failing to get the attention of the swimmer during his swim, this said coach threw a plastic lane marker cone at the swimmer in the water to get his attention. This behavior was an unacceptable interaction between an adult coach and an athlete and violates the MAAPP policy of USA-Swimming. The incident was immediately addressed and resolved by the Meet Referee, coaches from the host team (TERA) and the PLS coach following the incident. It turned out that the PLS coach was in error in assuming the swimmer was trying to cheat the restricted team entry criteria of the meet. The coach apologized to the swimmer and the parent for his action.
The evening the event took place, the Meet Referee in consultation with the Safe Sport coordinator of Pacific Swimming reported the incident to the Safe Sport contact person of USA Swimming. USA Swimming did not recommend that Pacific Swimming take any further action at that time.
Recently, a video clip of this incident has been circulated on a number of social media platforms. The PLS coach was identified in the posting as Steve Morsilli, and comments regarding this incident were posted along with the video. These social media posts have elicited various replies and questions in the comments of the post. Pacific Swimming wants to let our members and other interested parties know that the incident did occur in the May meet, and that we took immediate and appropriate actions in accordance with Safe Sport policy and reported the incident to USA Swimming. Pacific Swimming does not condone the behavior of the coach in this instance and the coach should have worked with the Meet Referee to resolve the issue instead of the action he took.
If you have any questions concerning this incident, please contact David Cottam who was the Meet Referee of the May meet and currently serves as the General Chair of Pacific Swimming at firstname.lastname@example.org