Valley, Alabama is located in the mid-eastern portion of the Deep South state, with its city limits bordering that of neighboring southern state Georgia. The population there is just short of 10,000, making the town somewhat large for a rural area, though it is large enough to host a popular swimming venue and training sessions provider – Valley Area Swim Academy.
Derrick Fraenkel, informally going by the name Tom, was recently handed down a suspension from USA Swimming. The suspension went into effect on April 16, 2018, and will last until 11:59 p.m. on the same date in 2019.
In a press release, USA Swimming stated that Fraenkel was accused of violating two sections of its Code of Conduct: 304.3.4, which covers Athlete Protection Policies; and 305.1, which strictly bans adults that aren’t athletes, including coaches, from excessively touching, kissing, hugging, sit on one’s lap, and other generally inappropriate behavior between a USA Swimming team member and a non-swimmer.
While no criminal charges could be pressed against the popular swim coach, USA Swimming still didn’t trust the sound of the situation that much, deciding to play it safe and ban him for a year.
According to Fraenkel himself, not from officials working for or representing USA Swimming – they haven’t released information regarding the suspension, and are highly likely never to release such information – a younger woman that coached swimmer at the facility, for whatever reason, felt jealous of the “warmth she saw emanating from my team,” per a comment Fraenkel left in reply to an article covering the story online.