Archive for February, 2007

USC and Goldfish: Keller Reportedly The Next To Go

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

By David

I am concerned about one of the girls on our swim team, Tiffany. She comes from a good family; she’s bright, intelligent, polite and a very good swimmer. She may also be a serial killer.

Let me explain. Five years ago her parents bought Tiffany an attractive aquarium and stocked it with a selection of goldfish, including Sailor and Blue. Tiffany was charged with looking after Sailor and Blue and their friends.

Sadly providing for goldfish is not Tiffany’s strongest quality. Sailor and Blue died. Tiffany’s Dad took on the task of feeding and cleaning to save their surviving friends. For five years the fish have prospered in his care. They still live in Tiffany’s room, ignored by their owner.

This morning I asked Tiffany if, before she left for training, she had said hello to her fish. I do not know whether it was the cold or the 5.00am hour but she said, no and the fish would be best flushed down the toilet.

You see why I’m concerned. I’ve enjoyed my time involved in swimming in the USA. It’s fun. I hope the aspiration to inflict harm on goldfish is not widespread in the sport.

This aspiration clearly seems rampant at USC just now. Their program is a shambles. We have already written about Amanda Weir and Rhi Jeffrey leaving. Now Kalyn Keller has left the school as well. That’s three top swimmers. That’s three big problems. It would be easy to blame Salo, their new coach. However, far greater responsibility lies with those who employed Salo.

When they were recruited, USC’s top swimmers were offered Mark Schubert and Mark Schubert’s training. They were delivered something completely different. So different that in most countries USC would be charged for breaching fair trading legislation.

International athletes are particular about their product. They do not like ordering a Ferrari and being delivered a Mercedes; no matter how good the Mercedes might be. Swimmers of their standard send a cold steak back to the kitchen. It’s not what they bought.

Jeffrey, Weir and Keller have done this and all power to them. Don’t be too tough on Salo though. He’s probably just doing what he’s always done. Responsibility for this loss of goldfish lies with those who employed someone completely different to the product USC sold the team.

If you happen to want to flush the remaining USC goldfish down the toilet at the Pac 10s or the NCAAs, 2007 is a good year to do it. If you don’t Tiffany’s Dad may be able to help.