Posts Tagged ‘coach’

Club Sued Over Player-Coach Sexual Misconduct; Lack of Policies Alleged

Written by PC News on . Posted in Coaches, Litigation, Molestation, News, Players, Volunteer Management

Black Hills Soccer Club, Former Coach Face Sex Abuse Lawsuit

A 23 year old former player has filed suit against her former coach and club alleging that the coach groomed her for years before convincing her to engage in a sexual relationship at the age of 17.    The coach was relieved of his duties, but had been with the club for over a decade.  In 2010, the coach had:

fallen under the suspicion of the Lacey Police Department, after he was contacted by officers February of 2010 with the victim in his van.

According to the police report, an officer responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked on Beckonridge Lane SE just after 9 p.m. The reporting party said the van had been parked for about an hour.

The officer found Cross, then 45, and the victim inside the van. The victim initially told the officer that she was 18, but later admitted that she was 17.

The victim said that Cross had pulled off of the road after feeling dizzy, and they had been talking. The officer wrote in the report that he believed Cross’s actions were, “highly suspect and inappropriate.”

Despite this report, no action was taken against the coach and he continued with the club.  The suit alleges that “the club didn’t have policies in place to prevent coaches from engaging in social interactions with players, texting and calling players for personal reasons, or spending time alone with players.”   The club contends that such a policy was in existence.  This “case isn’t the first in which a Black Hills Football Club coach was accused of an inappropriate relationship with a player. In 2002, former coach Dennis Jones was arrested and charged with five counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, and one count of providing liquor to a minor.”
Placek Consulting can provide your soccer club not only with policies on player-coach interaction, but with an  implementation plan to make player safety a club priority and establish reliable reporting and investigative processes.

Va. Soccer Coach Arrest Reveals Trail of Red Flags

Written by PC News on . Posted in Coaches, Molestation, Volunteer Management, Volunteer Screening

A Virginia soccer coach arrested and charged with inappropriately touching an 11 year old player provides yet another clear example of patterns common in the grooming and pursuit of young victims by adult authority figures.  (Full Story Here).  The suspect was a coach at an indoor soccer facility and also had worked as a part time school coach and for a club team.  He was arrested after the victim’s mother discovered lewd text messages on her son’s phone from the coach.  Further, the abuse was alleged to have occurred when the coach gave the player a ride to watch a soccer game outside of the organization.

After It’s Too Late

Written by PC News on . Posted in Coaches, Governing Bodies, Molestation, Volunteer Management

In the midst of the challenges of running your programs and preparing for the next season, it is easy to let risk management planning slip by the way side.  Every week, coaches from settings varying from university to youth athletics are accused of improper behavior.  Often, it is difficult to imagine how such behavior went unchecked and unmonitored.  The answer is simple: often we don’t address the problem until it’s too late.

In Pennsylvania, a local school board recently adopted an adult-student interaction policy.  Consisting of five pages of detailed instructions, it “restricts electronic communications with students to the school’s systems and outlines what is inappropriate to discuss with students and where and how interactions take place. It even bans knowingly engaging in online gaming with students.” (Full story here).  But the policy didn’t come out of a considered and proactive approach to risk management.  It followed the arrest of a coach for “institutional sexual assault and corrupting a minor” — a sixteen year old female student.  Despite the fact that electronic communications are a primary grooming method used by abusers, the school had no policies in place to address the interaction between its staff and students.

However, some organizations do act proactively.  In Tennessee, an arrested youth football coach is demanding reinstatement after the league suspended him following his arrest.  The coach was charged with a road rage incident and threatening a 16 year old driver with a knife.  In addition, burned marijuana cigarettes were found in the car.  At the time of his arrest, a closed knife was found on the dashboard.  Incredibly, parents from the team he coaches started a petition to have him reinstated.  (Full story here).  Although the coach is certainly entitled to a presumption of innocence on the criminal charges, a youth sports organization is entitled to act to protect its participants pending the outcome of the trial, and would even be justified in denying future participation if it so decided.  This type of proactive, kids first attitude is to be commended.

At Placek Consulting, we work with youth sports associations to address issues before they become problems.  We give you the tools to manage your volunteers and staff in an atmosphere that conveys professionalism and respect while still focusing on child protection.  Find out how we can help you.  Call Scott Placek at 512-487-RISK (7475).