Synjin Smith, one of the most dominant and influential players in beach volleyball history, has been suspended indefinitely by the USA Volleyball Federation, the sport’s national governing body, the Southern California News Group has learned.
Smith, the first player to win 100 Open Beach Volleyball tournaments, has been suspended since May 31 and may not participate or attend USA Volleyball sanctioned events, according to USA Volleyball’s list of suspended players.
The reason for the suspension was listed by USA Volleyball as “US SafeSport Center administrative hold.”
When asked if Smith’s suspension list was accurate and what the reason for the suspension was, Liani Reyna, USA Volleyball’s director at SafeSport, said: “I have no comment.”
USA Volleyball Director of Communications P.J. Huptner-Evans also declined to comment.
In a series of phone interviews and text messages since Oct. 10, Smith said he had “no idea why” he was suspended by USA Volleyball.
Smith said he was not aware of the suspension until SCNG notified him more than four months after it took effect.
“I’m not sure why you insist on trying to mess with me?” Smith said in a text message Thursday in response to a question about when he was last a member of USA Volleyball. “I think it’s time to stop trying to find a way to tarnish my career. ‘You must have better things to do?’
Smith said on October 12 that he spoke with Reyna “who knew nothing.”
Smith said he is no longer a member of USA Volleyball. Nineteen people on USA Volleyball’s list of suspended members have a “US SafeSport Administrative Detention” cited as a rule or law violation for their suspension. All 19 players were suspended after their membership in USA Volleyball expired.
Smith said he doesn’t remember when he was last a member of USA Volleyball.
He said: “I don’t know.” “I didn’t follow through.”
in October. On November 12, Smith also said he spoke to an official at the US Center for SafeSport after speaking with Reyna. Smith said he did not remember the name of the US SafeSport official who spoke to him.
The SafeSport official told Smith: “They have no reason to investigate because I am not a member of USAV,” Smith wrote in October. 12 words. “She said USAV had no reason to put my name on the suspended list because I am not a member (of USAV volleyball).” There are no comments for non-members. If I try to become a member, they can open an investigation. I have no reason to become a member.
He added: “If for some reason a reporter had committed a serious crime, I’m sure I would have heard something from other sources (of course there aren’t).
“If I decide to become a member of the USAV, I might know what the problem is but like I said, there’s no reason to do that at the moment. However my curiosity is at its peak!”
“The girl at Safe Sport said there are a range of possible crimes that can be reported including verbal abuse through to much worse things which I believe are listed on their site.”
Smith said a SafeSport official encouraged him to check with USA Volleyball to see if they would remove his name from the suspended list. More than three weeks ago, he said he contacted USA Volleyball again about the suspension. Smith said Monday that he had not heard back from USA Volleyball.
The American SafeSport Center declined to comment on Smith’s comment.
Huptner Evans, director of communications for USA Volleyball, initially declined to comment on Smith’s suspension in early October. SCNG on Wednesday contacted Hoeptner-Evans again to clarify details of Smith’s comments and ask what the reason for the suspension was and whether the national governing body would confirm that the suspension still stands. Huptner-Evans said she would take the questions to her bosses at USA Volleyball. In an email on Thursday, Huptner-Evans wrote: “We do not have a response to your article.”
Smith, 66, has been involved in coaching and clinics since retiring as a player in 2001. He coaches Singin’ Beach, an age-group program based in Santa Monica, next door to the Annenberg Beach House.
“Beach volleyball is not just a sport, it is a way of life,” says the Singin Beach Club website. “Our club embodies this by giving our players the tools to compete at the highest level and have fun while doing it. We achieve this by offering elite coaches and drills that have been tested and proven by the King of the Beach, Sinjin Smith. The most important thing to us is to develop the sport and bring it back to what it is.” It was before.
Smith has also run camps for the past 21 years. Last summer, Sinjin Smith’s Beach Volleyball Camps (BVC) ran camps in nine communities in Los Angeles County.
Smith is the third current or former member of the US Olympic volleyball team to be suspended by USA Volleyball in recent years.
Scott Tuszynski, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist with the USA Volleyball team, was suspended by USA Volleyball in July 2018 in response to allegations of sexual misconduct involving a minor athlete at a camp or clinic in Canada, according to USA Volleyball. SafeSport and USA Volleyball documents obtained by the Southern California News Group.
Beach player Taylor Crabb was suspended by USA Volleyball in 2017 for misconduct with an underage girl, according to USA Volleyball documents obtained by SCNG. USA Volleyball’s board of directors voted unanimously in May 2019 to extend the suspension until September 28, 2021, after Crabbe violated the settlement agreement for the first suspension by coaching at a junior girls’ camp.
The decision was made with the clear awareness that it would prevent Crabb from competing in the Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled for 2020. An arbitrator later reduced Crabb’s suspension, paving the way for him to compete in the 2021 Olympics. But Crabb missed the Tokyo Games after contracting the coronavirus. A few days before the Olympics. He recently teamed up with Taylor Sander to win his first tournament at the Manhattan Beach Open on August 20.
Smith, a 1996 Olympian, led UCLA to NCAA titles in 1978 and 1979 and was a member of the U.S. national indoor team from 1979 to 1982 before focusing on the beach game.
Smith has won AVP International titles in parts of three decades. He was so dominant that the International Volleyball Hall of Fame named him the “King of the Beach” when he was inducted into the Hall in 2003.
Smith even inspired an Electronic Arts video game appropriately called “King of the Beach.”
Smith was also influential off shore, playing a leading role in creating the AVP, and eventually serving as president and member of the group’s board of directors. He was also the driving force behind the creation of the FIVB World Tour. Smith also served as President of the Beach Volleyball World Council.
“Creator. Troublemaker. Reader. Tv nerd. Proud beer advocate. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Introvert. Certified zombie practitioner. Thinker.”