Revised  - the US Open victim did report to the police.  USAT ED Ferguson did promise her a "no contact order" which has not been to provided to her as of today.

Personal Opinion - re: the Statement supporting Keith Ferguson's decision to unsuspend David Metz to attend Nationals - see full statement below.

IMHO - the USAT BOD statement is basically CYA.  

Shall we begin with the fact that not all, if any, BOD members were even aware of the David Metz situation until the USA Today article hit the internet?

 A reasonable person would assume that an action with these types of far reaching consequences would have been at least mentioned to BOD members.  I can state for a fact that not all BOD members even knew about this case until the reports came out in USA Today.  I think this says a lot about the USAT BOD and its relationship with its soon-to-be former Executive Director.

I am inserting here comments made by former USAT Ethics Chair Don Parker who lead the group that pulled the USAT from probation to its current active status:


Don Parker The statement as presented lacks any credibility. You would expect the Executive Director to build and maintain excellent relationships with all of the top athletes, coaches, club owners, referees, and volunteers in the organization. As such you would make sure that he or she has no role whatsoever in adjudicating ethics or judicial proceedings. It would represent a monumental conflict of interest. That's why the governance is designed the way it is. The ED refers the complaint, sees to the implementation of the decision, and makes sure the staff follows the policy.
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Don Parker
Don Parker This is why the press is all over our sport on this issue. They smell the "slowest running antelope in the herd". They sense that given the size of the USAT membership and the number of issues along with how they are handled that USAT is an organization that is not committed to protecting athletes overseeing a sport that is attractive to people with flexible ethics.
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Don Parker
Don Parker The assault on our sport won't stop until the NGB gets religion on protecting athletes."

Frankly the entire case was completely botched by the USAT ED - IMHO.  The USAT was first notified of the situation with Mr. Metz in March of 2017. Nothing happened.  I personally sent the files to the USAT April 26th of 2017 - nothing happened until June 1st. The allegations of the felonies include his choking the mother of his child.  This is a crime of violence.  I suggest the BOD look at the Code of Ethics for USAT which has no statute of limitations.  Additionally, there was also an allegation that Mr. Metz had attempted to assault a current USAT para athlete at the US Open in 2017.  This was reported to the police, again, a crime of violence.  A reasonable CEO, ED, Safe Sport would have immediately taken the interim action of suspension - but not the USAT. The Ethics Committee obviously did as they suspended him, only to have the Executive Director un-suspend him within a day or two. USAT promised the US Open alleged victim a "no contact order" but to date it has not been received.

I have a copy of the email from the Ethics Chair explaining Mr. Ferguson had un-suspended Mr. Metz so that he could prepare to compete at Nationals.  Maybe it is me, but it doesn't read as if the Ethics Chair was consulted first, since they had just suspended Mr. Metz just a day or so before Mr. Ferguson unsuspended him without consultation of the Reinstatement Policy passed by the USAT BOD. If I were a BOD member, I would be upset that I had spent months on a Reinstatement Policy to see it completely forgotten.

Let's then fast forward the situation.  Mr. Metz was allowed to compete at Nationals. He registered for Costa Rica I am told by principals in the case.  The hearing was held August 14th, 30 days ago.  I note for the record that as a two minutes ago he was not listed as suspended on the USAT website.  However, even though Mr. Decker and the female athlete who filed complaints against Mr. Metz were told there was a recommendation as of the Costa Rican event, they were refused the result.  However, according to the rumors I heard from same, Mr. Metz was given the result, which I am told is that he is suspended from the USAT and he was not allowed to compete in Costa Rica. But he is not on the USAT Suspension List. They considered him too dangerous (?) to compete as a USAT athlete at this international event but have not listed him as suspended? Really?  or just SOP for USAT?

The USAT BOD had committees set to replace Mr. Ferguson weeks before the official announcement.  I heard the BOD was waiting to make that announcement after all the craziness died down.  I can even understand that in this situation they want to assist Mr. Ferguson in moving on with a minimum of fuss.  

However, I submit that frankly this is yet another example of how Safe Sport is a toothless tiger.  USAT Ethics Committee could have and did issue an interim suspension.  The AAA ruling on Peter Lopez makes it clear that the athlete's right to compete does not trump the safety of other athletes.  Mr. Metz has one felony on violence, choking your girlfriend is pretty violent. He has another on dishonesty.  Finally he has a recent allegation of violence.  Could this be a pattern? Mr. Ferguson's actions were unfair not only to the complaintants but to Mr. Metz himself.  This could have been settle long before Nationals and long before Costa Rica.

But then, this is the same organization that knowingly employs a man with a recent record of domestic violence - a man who would not be allowed to be a USAT coach, volunteer or referee, but because he is a vendor, he is allowed on the floor of Nationals.  Same Executive Director made this decision.  

Bottom line, the USAT BOD is attempting to cover its assets here and in my personal opinion, not doing a very good job of it.  The USAT could have easily avoided this by following the same procedures which worked under Eric Parthen when he was CEO. While this was before Safe Sport, it was simple.  Accusation, suspension pending, hearing, termination. Let's not forget also the current USAT appears to play favorites when it comes to enforcement of Safe Sport polices.

BTW - it has been six months since Jean and Steven Lopez's over two year old case has been sent to Safe Sport.  Is this a case of letting it sit as pending forever and hope the public forgets about it?

See the statement below.  Really?

"Colorado Springs, Colorado (September 12, 2017) - Following a review of the events surrounding the temporary suspension of David Metz in June of 2017 the Board of Directors found that Mr. Ferguson acted appropriately and within the rules laid down by both the USA Taekwondo bylaws and the Board of Directors at all times.

This included conferring with and taking direction from both outside counsel to USA Taekwondo and the USA Taekwondo Ethics Chair, as well as liaising with the newly opened U.S. Center for SafeSport and acting upon their recommendations at appropriate times.

Further, it is clear that Mr. Ferguson acted appropriately in keeping the Board of Directors informed at each stage of the proceedings, via regular contact with the Board Chair.

It was found that the information printed in USA Today relating to this issue was misconstrued, and it should be stated clearly for the record that any allegation of misdeed or poor judgment as it relates to this matter has no basis in fact.