A former Madison High School swim coach accused of having sexual contact with one of his swimmers while she was a minor is now the subject of an emergency hearing by the sport's governing body.
On Monday, USA Swimming released a statement to Swimming Sport and Swim Swam Magazines, which said local coaches reported Noah Rucker, 39, to the organization's Safe Sport officer after they learned he was arrested and charged Friday with three counts of indecent liberties with a minor.
"Upon learning of the arrest of Noah Rucker, coaches from the area immediately reported to USA Swimming's Safe Sport officer, who has initiated the emergency hearing process. USA Swimming and Potomac Valley Swimming adhere to a comprehensive Safe Sport program which includes safeguards in each of six different areas: Polices & Guidelines, Screening & Selection, Training & Education, Monitoring & Supervision, Recognizing, Reporting, & Responding, and Engagement & Feedback," the statement says.
The alleged incident occurred when Rucker coached the swim program at Madison High School a decade ago, according to Fairfax County Police, when he was 29 and the victim was 17 years old.
Rucker's arraignment is set for 8:30 a.m. today at the Fairfax County Courthouse.
Rucker, who lives in Bristow, is a fully certified USA/ASCA swim coach, according to an online biography.
An investigation could lead to a number of consequences for Rucker, according to USA Swimming's website, including revocation of membership.
Rucker was hired July 1, 2000, as a part-time temp athletic employee and left FCPS April 19, 2002, FCPS Spokesman John Torre said.
From there, Rucker continued as a coach throughout the area, police said.
According to local swimming websites, he was most recently a coach for the Curl-Burke Swim Club, one of the country's most prestigious competitive swim programs. Its membership boasts more than 950 swimmers — including many of Northern Virginia's top high school swimmers — who compete in seven locations across the Washington, D.C., region.
At press time, Rucker's name had been removed from the club's roster of coaches.
Rucker's LinkedIn profile includes a recommendation written in November 2011 for his time as coach with the organization.
"An excellent enthusiastic detail-orientated employee. Very dependable and a hard worked for me [sic]," it reads.
The Wellington Dolphins Swim Team, a Manassas-based club of swimmers from Prince William County, hired Rucker as a head coach in 2010, according to its website.
The announcement of an emergency hearing came the same day USA Swimming unveiled a new, free online "Safe Sport" sexual abuse prevention program, designed for the parents of its 300,000 athletes.
The initiative is part of the organization's larger "Safe Sport" program, an effort to better protect athletes from sexual abuse.
The program was developed in late 2010, shortly after investigations by ABC and ESPN found at least 36 swimming coaches had been banned for life by the organization over the previous decade because of sexual misconduct; many of them passed the organization's background checks, which only screened for coaches convicted of a felony, the investigations reported.
"Education truly is a cornerstone of our programming, and we will continue to work to raise awareness and empower our membership with education about safe sport," said Susan Woessner, Director of Safe Sport for USA Swimming, in a release about the new program.
In a statement to WJLA, Rucker denied all charges against him and "looks forward to clearing his name at trial if not before that time."
He and his family declined further comment.
Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.