The CEO of Eagan-based USA Curling has resigned amid claims he ignored allegations of abuse in a previous position.
On Friday, USA Curling announced that its Board of Directors had officially accepted CEO Jeff Push’s resignation.
The announcement comes after 11 former and current members of USA Curling's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force (DEI) called for Plush’s removal last week. DEI had also published an open sign-on letter earlier this month urging him to step down.
Between 2015 and 2017, Plush served as the commissioner of the National Women's Soccer League.
An investigation by former U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates found that while in that position, he was aware of allegations against Paul Riley while he was with the Western New York Flash but did not prevent him from coaching in the league.
According to the investigation, allegations against Riley included sexual misconduct and coercion.
And several players alerted the league and U.S. Soccer that they were abused by their coaches in various ways, not limited to "verbal tirades, retaliation, sexual harassment and sexual coercion." But leadership at all levels, including Plush, failed to act, according to the New York Times.
USA Curling also commissioned its own independent investigation earlier this month to determine if Plush had "acted in accordance with prioritizing the safety of athletes."
But after reviewing the results of its investigation, USA Curling said it "confident in Jeff’s ability to continue as an effective leader of the organization."
USA Curling's Athletes' Advisory Council did say it would meet daily with the Board of Directors "in order to evaluate our position as things develop," following the statement.
In Friday’s announcement, USA Curling says it will conduct a “full review” of its bylaws and policies in response to allegations. It will also seek out feedback from its members, according to the announcement.
Dean Gemmell, a former national champion curler and director of development at USA Curling, has been appointed interim CEO.
In his new role, Gemmell will hold a town hall meeting in the next week to address the recent events.
I believe the national organization has been and will be critical for the continued growth of the sport in the United States," Gemmell remarked. "I'm convinced curling can be a force for good, and when the people in this sport work together we can make great things happen. To fully address issues, I plan to host a Town Hall in the next week,” Gemmell said in a statement.