Friday, December 04, 1992

Diving Accidents

Mark Rauterkus

Sports Support Syndicate, Inc.

108 South 12th Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Orders: 1-800-869-0758

Business Phone: 412-481-2497

FAX #: 412-481-2540

December 4, 1992



Chanel 11


phone: 412-237-1111

Dear Donna Froeman,

Regarding your news segment on last nights 11:00 pm news and the wrong fact of, “Only the sport of diving has more spinal-cord injuries than football.”

That news is so grossly wrong that I am going to do my best to educate you of the facts and settle for some type of retraction or updated feature on the sport of diving here in Pennsylvania.

Our state board of health has some foolish person who made a recent rule interpretation because of bad news similar to that which was reported last evening. Our state has made lots of waves nationally, our local kids are getting their opportunities robbed by dropping programs from administrators and this is a hot issue in the news today. But you blew it.

Let me explain. After talking with U.S. Diving in Indiana (call 317-237-5252) and with their safety chairperson, Janet Gabriel at the ISHOF at (305-462-6536), I can report,

The Sport of Diving has never had a fatality or catastrophic injury in the United States. This includes U.S. Diving (club-level like at Pitt, coached by Julian Krug), NCAA Diving or any in High School as a part of the National Federation.”

These issues have been researched extensively over the years to combat the foolishness that you’ve recently promoted.

Did you know that 75% of all diving injuries occur in the natural environment? That includes lakes, rock quarries, off of boats in rivers, etc. The other small portion of injuries all occur in water depth of less than 4 feet. The sport of diving is contested in swimming pools with deep water, like 12 feet or so.

The sport of diving is very safe. And it is not worse than football.

At Plum High School, where I am also the swimming coach, we don’t have a male diver on the team, and we need 3 to field the event in the High School meets, which begin December 17. Furthermore, many of the schools have been yanking their boards and dropping their diving teams due to some bone-head, uninformed, safety interpretation by state government.

I don’t know all the facts of what has transpired in our state the last 10 weeks or so, but others do. You might call Don Lees at Clarion (814-226-7351). He could tell you what’s what.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Sincerely Yours,


Mark Rauterkus, President &

Plum High School’s Head Swimming Coach