By: Cody Boteler, Senior Editor
Former Towson diving coach Maureen Mead, 43, has been banned for life from USA Swimming, the governing body of the sport, effective Feb. 16.
“It’s what we were hoping for and expecting,” a member of the swim team said.
According to the organization’s website, Mead was found in violation of three sections of USA Swimming’s code of conduct. One, an athlete protection policy, explicitly prohibits the use of cell phone cameras and other audio or visual recording equipment in changing areas.
Mead pleaded guilty to misdemeanor video surveillance and altering physical evidence charges Feb. 10. A plea deal had been reached between Mead and the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s office, and the judge sentenced Mead to three years’ probation before judgment.
Mead’s job at the University ended Nov. 24, one day after she was formally indicted. As part of her probation, Mead was ordered by the judge to have no contact with the team, to stay away from campus and to not coach swimming or diving in any capacity.
The charges against Mead were connected to an October incident wherein several members of the swimming and diving team noticed a cellphone that was recording in the women’s locker room.
According to Lisa Dever, the prosecutor in the case, the girls on the team noticed the phone because of the light coming from the screen, which was reflecting off the back of the locker, which is painted black.
The phone was hidden behind a knit hat and propped up against a shampoo bottle.
None of the women, Dever said, believed that Mead was trying to record the team members while they were undressing, but instead that she was trying to eavesdrop on conversations.
When she picked up the phone, 19-year-old Kendall Krumenaker saw that it was recording and had captured at least two women in the act of changing. When other women on the team informed Assistant Coach Adrienne Phillips of the device, Phillips returned the phone to Maureen Mead, who acted as if she had lost it.
Team member Hannah Snyder later consulted former Head Swim Coach Pat Mead, Maureen Mead’s husband, who downplayed the incident and attempted to assure her that nothing was recorded, according to Dever’s account.
The coaches “didn’t understand why the girls were making such a big deal,” Dever said.
Nobody on the coaching staff contacted police. It was not until a team member’s parent called the University that Towson University Police were made aware of the incident—almost four hours later.
Phillips and Pat Mead quietly resigned in December.