New University of Arizona head diving coach John Appleman and Stephanie Sutton of the Dominion Dive Club have both been suspended by USA Diving. The pair are currently listed under the “Suspended Members” list of temporarily-suspended members on the USA Diving website for violations of the organization’s Code of Conduct.
Appleman, formerly the head coach of the Ohio State Diving Club, was announced as the new head diving coach at Arizona in early June. He was suspended by USA Diving on July 12th.
He was currently the head coach and owner of the Dominion Diving Club in Virginia; when he left, 4-time NCAA Division II Champion Sutton took over the club. She was also suspended on July 12th.
We have reached out to the Dominion Dive Club, the University of Arizona, and USA Diving for comment, and among them only USA Diving has responded, though they wouldn’t share information about why the suspensions happened or what their term is.
“Providing a safe environment for our members is of tremendous importance to USA Diving, and we take these matters very seriously,” a spokesperson for the organization said. “USA Diving is unable to comment on suspended members and their cases.”
Appleman is still listed as the head diving coach at Arizona, as is Sutton at the Dominion Dive Club. We were unable to find any recent criminal records for either coach, nor any local news reports on why they may have been suspended.
While the coaches are listed on USA Diving’s temporary suspension list, they are not listed in the U.S. Center for Safe Sport database. The U.S. Center for Safe Sport is now responsible for investigating and making suspensions related to abuse of minors, while the National Governing Bodies generally maintain authority over other Code of Conduct violations.
Appleman’s suspension wouldn’t necessarily extend to NCAA competition, although it could impact his ability to coach at events jointly sanctioned by USA Diving and the NCAA, or to coach his athletes at national competitions.
USA Diving has temporarily suspended 4 members in 2018. University of Idaho coach Jim Southerland was suspended for sexual misconduct, while Candace Gottlieb was suspended in June after she and her 27-year old son Tyler were arrested on federal drug charges.
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