FanDuel - WFBC

March 28, 2007

Incident With Daughter Could Get Ukranian Swim Coach Lifetime Ban: : After this ugly incident between he and his 18-year-old daughter Kateryna was caught on live television during the World Championships in Melbourne, Ukranian coach Mykhaylo Zubkov, 38, may face a lifetime ban from the sport. FINA (the governing body of international swimming) has revoked Zubkov's accreditation and convened a Disciplinary Panel to decide his fate.

posted by The_Black_Hand to other at 07:03 AM - 45 comments

I saw the actual clip of this incident on YouTube.com and agree that this Mykhaylo Zubkov guy should be banned for life. This is a sad scene and a real father would never bring any type of harm upon their child. What a disgrace!

posted by BornIcon at 07:54 AM on March 28

What's the big deal? I mean - she didn't swim fast enough. C'mon, these retirement cheques aren't gonna write themselves.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:37 AM on March 28

What an ass! I'm glad they took quick action. Hopefully, he will never be allowed to coach again. Too bad they can't take away all parenting privileges.

posted by bperk at 08:38 AM on March 28

Hmm. To be perfectly honest, I can't really tell if she is throwing a fit and he is trying to calm her down, or what. Audio would really be helpful here. Maybe he is bullying her or maybe he is trying to stop her from pulling a Tonya Harding on someone. Harm? Did I miss him slap her or something? She appears to be defending herself well from what later turns out to be hugs.

posted by Bishop at 08:45 AM on March 28

Bishop, he slapped the shit out of his own daughter in the very beginning of the clip...in public...at a swim meet...where he's coaching and she's swimming. There's no excuse for that no matter what. I'm all for a little discipline but a full blown beat down session is uncalled for.

posted by BornIcon at 08:55 AM on March 28

I didn't see "a full blown beat down session" there. Everything is open to interpretation - and if he really was beating his kid, then throw the book at him by all means - but that to me looked a bit like "teenager has hissy fit, father tries to calm her down". Someone who has had the shit slapped out of them doesn't then go and win a race later on.

posted by JJ at 09:03 AM on March 28

Her body language in parts of that clip (most noticeably where she's sitting in the chair and flinches when he starts to put his arm around her) indicates that this isn't the first time he's "calmed her down".

posted by joaquim at 10:13 AM on March 28

Isn't she 18? Isn't he her father? I understand that doing it in public wasn't the smartest but what exactly is the big deal here? I mean I see high school kids father's and sometimes mothers act this way, trying to get their child to be a star athlete, etc. I think people should mind their own business. If this wasn't caught on tape would it have been an issue? I mean, Bobby Knight does this on a daily basis, its called motivation! If you win no beat down.. its really simple.

posted by warstda at 10:17 AM on March 28

Even if you can come up with some contorted, half-assed justification for slapping around as a valid motivational tool for a coach to use on an athlete, then that adds weight to the argument that parents should never coach their children.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:27 AM on March 28

I agree with what you're saying LBB but I don't really have a problem with parents coaching their children. True, some parents go off the deep end about whether their child have enough playing time or not but this guy just went out of his mind. When people use words like "calm her down" and "teenager has a hissy fit", it's understandable if that was to be the case in this situation but apparently, this was more than just a father trying to "motivate" his daughter, which is why he'll recieve a lifetime ban. Like Joaquim pointed out, she does in fact flinches when her father tries to put his arm around her so it displays in a sense that this physicality has happened before. Maybe if this wasn't caught on tape it wouldn't have been a big deal but the fact of the matter is, it was caught on tape. I don't know what version of this footage anyone has seen but the clip on YouTube shows him slapping her in the face and then the 'tug-of-war- situation occurs. Maybe I'm interpreting this video from an entirely different perspective but what I see is a man that slaps his daughter in the face in public. How can someone 'mind their own business' when this guy is doing this in public, for all to witness?

posted by BornIcon at 11:03 AM on March 28

I don't really think this is a gray area. He had no business touching her like that. She is clearly trying to get away from him, and get him to stop touching her. I can't imagine any circumstances where pushing, shoving, and grabbing would actually calm down someone who is upset. The fact that she went out and performed well doesn't indicate that the incident wasn't serious, more that she is likely used to this type of thing and can compartmentalize when she competes.

posted by bperk at 11:45 AM on March 28

If you win no beat down.. its really simple. I'm not really sure what this world is coming to.

posted by hawkguy at 11:50 AM on March 28

Very sad and embarrassing for the swimmer, no doubt. Parents shouldn't be coaches at this level of competition.

posted by dusted at 12:08 PM on March 28

im with everybody else here that said that this was nothing more than a hissy fit by a little girl. i didnt see any slapping, hitting, or anything else by the guy other than to get his daughter under control. of course she doesnt want him to grab her, most kids dont when they are throwing a tantrum. only thing he did wrong was to have this episode get on film, and even then i saw the youtube version and didnt see any slap.( and yes i watch it more than once to be sure)

posted by canes09 at 12:25 PM on March 28

From :49 seconds to 1:01 it doesn't look good at all. I would never sit on MY daughter like that. Sure I understand she sat down, but it that would make me extremely uncomfortable. She is clearly hurt at the beginning from something he says, then he grabs for her towel/clothes as she tries to walk away. If this "incident" was a first between them, her body language would show as much. But, it's quite obvious it's not the first time. I only have seen the 2:13 segment and not the whole 7 minutes, so this is posted based on that. Even so, there is something not right here. Lifetime ban.

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 12:40 PM on March 28

The broadcasters make reference to this incident lasting six minutes, but I can't find more footage than what's posted here. Either way, just watch this clip from about 25 seconds to about 30 seconds. He roughly shoves her into the wall more than once. You can always count on people defending anti-social behavior and trying to make the issue something other than what it is. (The issue here isn't about what would have happened if it were not taped; the issue is whether his behavior was appropriate.) Another standard "argument" used to minimize anti-social behavior in these discussions is filling in the gaps with assumptions. (She must be an out-of-control teen. She must deserve it.)

posted by olelefthander at 12:41 PM on March 28

Errr right, well I can't say I saw the coach throwing any blows at the swimmer. People seem to be jumping to a lot of conclusions here about something which presumably they know little or nothing about. But then, this is the internet.

posted by squealy at 01:31 PM on March 28

Unless you can show me a piece of footage where he slapped his daughter, none of this is any different from what I used to have to do sometimes as a part of my job working with emotionally disturbed kids. Corral them, try to keep them from hurting themselves or anyone else, calm them as best you can. As for "roughly shoving her into the wall," that's bullshit. If you watch the girl's shadow, there's always distance between it and her. Making things up doesn't help you prove your point. And the commentator is a complete dick. She's "clearly fearful." Hmm, and you're sure just not throwing a tantrum? Why did they even show this again? What the hell did it have to do with the event? If it was abuse, is it fair to the girl to air it? If it wasn't, can the coach/father sue the shit out of the network? If he did hit her, by all means, string him up by the testicles and throw lawn darts at him -- he deserves it. But until any of us know better, don't go running off to conclusions you can't prove.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:58 PM on March 28

This is sad. The girl threw a tantrum and now the Dad should be banned for life from swimming??? How the hell does that make sense. The video that is posted here does not show any slapping or hitting by the father. For all of you out there that are so outraged, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LOOKING AT???? Kids get pissed off all time. They act like assholes. The organization that released this as a story should be sued and held liable for damaging this mans reputation.

posted by yay-yo at 02:04 PM on March 28

Unless you can show me a piece of footage where he slapped his daughter, none of this is any different from what I used to have to do sometimes as a part of my job working with emotionally disturbed kids. Corral them, try to keep them from hurting themselves or anyone else, calm them as best you can. Was his daughter an emotionally disturbed kid in danger of hurting herself or someone else, then? Is there anything to indicate that if he'd just walked away and left her alone, she'd have harmed herself or someone else?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:05 PM on March 28

Seems the board is split fairly evenly. I bet we can show a strong correlation between 'support' for the coach/dad with who got hit as a child. I was born with a "smart-ass" mouth so my mom never spared her nails with a good 'ole smack to the face to get my attention (I mention I was hard-headed, no? ya that too) Needless to say, I'm in the "no big deal" group. Looks to me like we have two overly emotional drama queens arguing feet placement on a kick-turn. No one got hurt and I bet they kissed and made up before the night was over. The root problem here IMNHO: parents should never coach their children. posted by lil_brown_bat ...and at the international level it would seem counter-productive to everyone

posted by r8rh8r27 at 02:20 PM on March 28

I read the article and then watched the clip a few times. I thought the article's description of the tape - that the coach was "pushing and shoving" his daughter - was not reflected by the tape. TBH's description of an "ugly incident" is much more accurate. But I'm still not sure exactly what I am watching.

posted by Venicemenace at 02:23 PM on March 28

If nothing else, all of us watching this repeatedly is going to drive that video up the YouTube charts. Walt, I'd say look at 25-30 seconds again. I stand by the fact that she was roughly shoved. You lose sight of her shadow. Perhaps the shadow you're seeing is her father's, off slightly to the left. I also worked at two different facilities for troubled teens, and this doesn't look like very productive behavior in that setting, either. He is instigating most of this conflict, which would be the opposite of protocol to try to diffuse the situation. I will agree with the people on both sides who say we don't see enough here (and hear nothing) to make any definitive judgement about exactly what was happening. But it's just as irresponsible to fully absolve him of any culpability based on this limited evidence as it is to say the guy should have his daughter taken away or be jailed based only on this evidence.

posted by olelefthander at 02:40 PM on March 28

Ugly? Definately! Unecessary? Of course! But it didn't appear to be the "beatdown" as described at the beginning of this post. Horribly embarrasing if you're the father or daughter.

posted by IRUNNIKE87 at 02:46 PM on March 28

Unless you can show me a piece of footage where he slapped his daughter, none of this is any different from what I used to have to do sometimes as a part of my job working with emotionally disturbed kids. Corral them, try to keep them from hurting themselves or anyone else, calm them as best you can. I have never worked with emotionally disturbed kids, so take this for what it is worth, but wouldn't you just try to calm them down without being physical unless they got physical first? It seems like Dad/coach keeps escalating the situation when daughter is trying to get the towel, grabbing her arm when she is walking away, and putting his arms around her when she is sitting calmly.

posted by bperk at 03:07 PM on March 28

Bishop, he slapped the shit out of his own daughter in the very beginning of the clip Again, I didn't see this slap. Sorry. As for the "flinching", I would say that it is more of the "get the hell off me" flinch vs. the "oh God please don't rape me again flinch". I will add again that she defended herself pretty well from what ENDS UP BEING A HUG. (after SHE appears to calm down). Was he aggressive? Sure he was. Was she adamant about getting away from him to go do whatever she was going to do? Sure she was. I think there is to much left to interpretation here. To me it seemed like a "get a hold of yourself" situation. I could be wrong. Audio would help. Think about it, he could be saying, I'm not going to let you go kill yourself just because you lost, I love you" or he could be saying, I can't believe you lost you dumb bitch. I don't think we know either way. He could be saying, honey please calm down, and she could be saying, get away from me you punk mother f*cker. We just don't know.

posted by Bishop at 03:17 PM on March 28

yeah i'm with bishop here. I think that there is too much ambiguity here, probably because of a lack of audio. Better not to assume too much either way. I think that we have to be careful here b/c of either our time with our parents and/or our love for our own kids can bias us pretty easy, b/c they are such intimate ties. I also agree with Frazer who said that if he was hurting her, let him have it. I don't think anyone disarees with with whether or not parental abuse is okay, but whether or not he actually did abuse her.

posted by brainofdtrain at 04:31 PM on March 28

My main problem with this is the prevalent practice in athletic competition of parents coaching their own children. I've hated this since I was in Babe Ruth baseball as a teen.

posted by sickleguy at 05:08 PM on March 28

Was his daughter an emotionally disturbed kid in danger of hurting herself or someone else, then? Is there anything to indicate that if he'd just walked away and left her alone, she'd have harmed herself or someone else? I have her freaking out on tape, possibly from her father's actions, possibly not. What do you have to show she would have been safe and under control if he'd let her walk away? I have never worked with emotionally disturbed kids, so take this for what it is worth, but wouldn't you just try to calm them down without being physical unless they got physical first? Depends on the kid, and no one here knows this girl better than the guy in the room with her on the tape. I've witnessed several instances of children and young adults going from relative calm to Defcon 5 in a matter of seconds, and with many of those children, you had to step in right away or chairs would be flying or they'd be trying to punch out the windows, and trying to limit movement and contain the kid was the first priority.

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:26 PM on March 28

Was his daughter an emotionally disturbed kid in danger of hurting herself or someone else, then? Is there anything to indicate that if he'd just walked away and left her alone, she'd have harmed herself or someone else? You don't have teenagers do you? Fairly dramatic to begin with, a teen at this level of competition may be even more so. Some parents walk away from these confrontations, while other parents want to fix it too quickly. I think wfrazerjr has the best handle on this. I personally won't presume to know how this particular father was tring to handle a situation with his daughter, and from a professional perspective did not see any evidence in the tape that I would attempt to prosecute.

posted by irunfromclones at 06:24 PM on March 28

fraze and clones, you're both taking the "father knows best" approach, that no one who's not a parent knows anything about kids, that no one knows how to handle an upset kid like a parent, and no one knows a kid as well as that kid's own parent -- and that a parent always has the kid's best interest at heart. Unfortunately, any or all of these can be false -- if that were not the case, no question of improper behavior would have been raised. You are correct that we cannot know from the tape exactly what happened (and incorrect, fraze, in implying that I said that I knew she would have been safe if she had simply walked away). But let's not forget the following: FINA - the governing body of international swimming - immediately revoked Zubkov's accreditation and on Wednesday convened a Disciplinary Panel to decide his fate. Now, somehow I think that FINA's representatives have more than that tape to go on. There were witnesses present. Is it possible that FINA and the Melbourne Police are both overreacting? Yes. But, to put it in frazese, what do you have to show that that's the case?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:53 PM on March 28

I'd really like to see a follow up link here. I'm sure they'll be coming soon with the attention this is getting. Personally, I watched it 3 times and don't see any slap by the father. Not saying there is not more to the story than i know about, but i can't hang the dad from what this shows. If it is nothing more than a teen on a hissy fit, I can only imagine how embarrassed they both are by now. I'd love to see her interviewed.

posted by louisville_slugger at 07:28 PM on March 28

... you're both taking the "father knows best" approach, that no one who's not a parent knows anything about kids, that no one knows how to handle an upset kid like a parent, and no one knows a kid as well as that kid's own parent. But, to put it in frazese, what do you have to show that that's the case? You know, lbb, I had a well-reasoned and thoughtful response to this, and then I thought, "Wow. Could you be more condescending?" So why bother?

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:24 PM on March 28

Sure, without the tape it's impossible to say exactly what's going on, or how serious the situation was. But this is an out of control father. He's certainly not trying to calm her down. At the very beginning of the tape the girl reaches for the towel and he angrily jerks it away. When she tries to leave (and obviously needs to cool down) he follows right behind her. She might very well have been acting like a brat, but he was out of control and certainly won't be winning father of the year. He should work on that before playing coach.

posted by justgary at 10:00 PM on March 28

wfrazerjr wrote: You know, lbb, I had a well-reasoned and thoughtful response to this, and then I thought, "Wow. Could you be more condescending?" I agree.

posted by danjel at 10:39 PM on March 28

Why are you all referring to her as a kid. Isn't she 18 years of age and therefore an adult? I'm not making any judgement calls on the behaviour because we don't have any context/audio/the full incident, but just because it is a father-daughter relationship doesn't mean that the coach shouldn't treat the swimmer as an adult.

posted by Fence at 03:23 AM on March 29

And yet still people wonder why video evidence is largely inadmissible in court. Could you be more condescending? I'd say "no", but I've been surprised before.

posted by JJ at 04:05 AM on March 29

A couple of follow-up links. All this over a boy? Sheesh. Friggin' hormones, they oughta be outlawed. Along with ham-handed fathers.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:03 AM on March 29

I always wanted to be a star athlete or maybe have a kid who's a star athlete. I see something like this and thank the FSM that I'm not in the limelight.

posted by SummersEve at 06:31 AM on March 29

Good follow-ups TBH....about what I expected. I'm sure there's a little "saving face" in the story they are giving.

posted by louisville_slugger at 07:11 AM on March 29

You know, lbb, I had a well-reasoned and thoughtful response to this, and then I thought, "Wow. Could you be more condescending?" You know, wfrazerjr, I had a lengthy response to this, detailing your use of strawman arguments and your omission of context to make it appear that I said something that I did not, and then I thought, "This is way too long and has nothing to do with the subject of this thread." We can continue this in email if you wish, but I'm not going to do so here. I'll own mine if you'll own yours, and that's the last I have to say about the matter here.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:20 AM on March 29

"We can continue this on email if you wish, but I'm not going to do so here," she said... here.

posted by JJ at 07:49 AM on March 29

Regarding the video itself, the lack of audio (I did play it on mute, but assuming the video is so from earlier in this post) leaves a certain degree of ambiguity that is made worse by conflicting context clues. Having watched the video, I would not condemn the father as being violent or a menace, though perhaps heavy-handed -- and even that is something I am not entirely willing to hold against him not knowing the proper context. It seems like people were too quick to judge that either this is just some immature teenager or a poor victim of her father's insanity. Thanks to TBH, we get a slightly better picture of what's going on. The Geelong Advertiser link freezes up my browser, but at the end of the article, she says something along the lines of "I disobeyed him and he got angry." This implies to me that the context is a bit more than just controlling a teenager's tantrum. Based on this allegation, the father's heavy-handed approach may thus be more than a means of control and instead it may be best to review the tape with deference to the camp that views him as a menace to the teenager. Though it is key to note that the video still does not offer clear evidence of any striking. If anything, it may suggest an unfit parent, but let us be clear that the individual is 18 years of age* (*based on previous comments and not fact-checked) and, to my understanding, capable of exerting her own legal force. While there are psychological deprivation aspects to this conversation that may make her unfit to make such assertions (psychological damage from constant manipulative efforts on the part of the parent), there is no evidence (i.e. knowledge of similar prior events) to warrant it being a factor. The ABC article mentions the lawyer's argument that it is a private matter and not a swimming matter, which to a degree suggests the FINA has no business involving itself. Regardless of what basis rooted the altercation, it involved a coach and a swimmer that are both members of (and indirectly represent) FINA. If the body has any reason to believe that it gives membership to a menace, it is within its right to revoke membership. Somebody mentioned that they likely have more evidence than we do, which is likely correct, but is negated by the pressures they face from the publicity of the incident, with people likely calling for heads as evidenced earlier in the comments. Whether they are correct in their judgment is something they will hopefully reconsider with careful deliberation, though I personally think a lifetime ban for this offense (ambiguous video, first offense) is too much. Regardless, the coach must be aware that it was a public altercation, presumably in grounds being managed (rented/in agreement with) by FINA. Lastly, the issue of damage control is probably something key here. The swimmer has likely long shared a close history with the father and that is a psychological factor to consider. Even victims of kidnapping usually tend to eventually accept their captor's behaviors and identify with them. Following such theory, it is not unreasonable to consider that she may be minimizing the actual damage and that the coach may be a bigger menace than the current evidence suggests. However, that is mere speculation. Ultimately, we get back to where we started: too much interpretation, not enough concrete evidence. But an interesting topic regardless. That said: wow, I woke up too early today.

posted by PublicUrinal at 08:08 AM on March 29

Thanks indeed for the followup links. Their testimony, unfortunately, doesn't lend much more context to make a meaningful judgement than the video does. The situation could be pretty much what they describe or she could be a typical victim of abuse, covering for her abuser. (If the latter is the case, I'll bet this guy she won't stop seeing is a real winner.) The fact that she's 18, and as many here have pointed out an adult who should be treated as such, does raise the question of whether her father should be taking such an active role in choosing whom she dates. But it's not hard for me to imagine a legitimate reason for that, too. What I still stand by is the disappointment that people seem really quick to make assumptions to excuse questionable behavior outright. I'm not saying he should be presumed a terrible person (I still think he shoved her on the video, but that doesn't rise to the standard of terrible person.) but many of the people who say it's wrong to assume his guilt turn around and immediately make assumptions about the young woman to say society should stay out of it and/or the dad was perfectly justified.

posted by olelefthander at 09:24 AM on March 29

The fact that she's 18, and as many here have pointed out an adult who should be treated as such, does raise the question of whether her father should be taking such an active role in choosing whom she dates. Excellent point. Several posts have discussed her being 18, and an adult, yet this is definitely falls in father/daughter territory. You can't have it both ways. I have my opinions about him as a father, but there's too much I don't know to feel confident about them. I do think the fact that they're both getting into this topic on the day of a swim meet at that swim meet gives me enough confidence to say he shouldn't be her coach.

posted by justgary at 12:22 PM on March 29

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