January 15, 2009

STEVE Clark, former world record-holder in the 100-meter freestyle and a triple gold medalist at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo , has agreed to serve as chairman of the newly formed Attorneys for the Promotion and Defense of Swimming (APDS). Clark is an attorney in San Francisco .

The announcement was made this morning in Phoenix by Phil Whitten, Executive Director of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA).

Clark is charged with recruiting a network of practicing attorneys and legal scholars - most likely, former competitive swimmers, themselves -- willing to devote time, pro bono, for the defense of intercollegiate and interscholastic swimming. "We would like to have members of this group in every major metropolitan area in the USA ," he said.

As outlined by Whitten, depending on their strengths and specialties, these attorneys will be asked to:

  • Provide legal advice to programs that are threatened;
  • Litigate or help litigate on behalf of programs that have been cut and that have a reasonable chance of success in the legal arena;
  • Provide advice on Title "IX-related issues
  • Write legal and popular articles on the above topics
  • Be interviewed by local and national media on the above topics
  • Provide advice on endowments to ensure that endowment money is only used for purposes consistent with the benefactor's wishes;
  • Share relevant legal input and information with other attorneys in the CSCAA legal pool; and
  • Work with the College Sports Council, Equity in Athletics, the Pacific Legal Group and other legal allies in behalf of issues of mutual concern;

"Steve is perfect for this position," Whitten commented, "and we are privileged to have him in our corner. As one of the greatest swimmers in history and a well-known and highly respected San Francisco attorney, he has the stature to attract other outstanding attorneys to the defense of one of America 's most popular sports and by far, our most successful Olympic sport. He won't litigate, but he will help choose cases to pursue and take a major role in developing strategy.

"I am delighted to take this position and work with Phil and the CSCAA to defend the sport of swimming at the collegiate and high school levels," said Clark, a five-time individual NCAA champion.

Eric Pearson, head of the College Sports Council, offered his support for the newly-formed network. "This is a major development," he said, and we wish Phil and Steve good luck in making it a reality. Over the years, other groups have talked about similar projects, but this is the first time anyone has actually tried to make the idea a reality. We would be pleased to assist Phil in any way he asks."

Attorneys interested in becoming part of the legal defense network can contact Clark by phone at (415) 421-0535 or by e-mail at seclark@csicapital.com.