Republished from the Columbia Missourian
COLUMBIA — Last weekend, people across the nation saw Missouri swim coach Greg Rhodenbaugh on ESPN, in the midst of a tense interview with “Outside the Lines” about the alleged sexual assault of former swimmer Sasha Menu Courey in 2010.
This weekend, Rhodenbaugh is at the pool with his team. The Tiger Invite began on Friday evening in the Aquatic Center of the MU Student Recreation Complex.
Rhodenbaugh has shifted his focus to helping his current swimmers instead of defending his role in the Menu Courey tragedy. It was, despite the serious circumstances surrounding the university and his program at the moment, a welcome change.
“Anything of that magnitude can become a distraction,” Rhodenbaugh said of the case, which was picked up by the Columbia Police Department and is under investigation.
Rhodenbaugh refused to discuss details of the Menu Courey case.
However, he did respond to the UM System Board of Curators’ decision to hire independent counsel to investigate MU’s handling of the Menu Courey case at the recommendation of UM System President Tim Wolfe.
“I think there’s always room for investigation,” he said. “I support president Wolfe and (athletics director) Mike Alden, all those guys.”
Rhodenbaugh also said current students could benefit from whatever the investigation might “bring to light.”
The coach did not forbid his swimmers from discussing the Menu Courey case with media, but they had little to say.
“It was so long ago,” junior Emily Doucette said of the incident. She has not seen the “Outside the Lines” report and, like most of the current team, didn’t know Menu Courey, who committed suicide in June 2011.
Rhodenbaugh said there are two members of the team who are seniors now who knew Menu Courey during her time at MU.