Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sexual Misconduct of Coaches

    Sexual relationships between coaches and athlete are something that often overlooked or simply not discussed, but it is a growing problem.  159 coaches have been fired in the past decade in Washington alone.  What's worse is that although charged with cases of sexual misconduct 98 continue to coach.  A coach is a person a young athlete looks up to with admiration and respect. They place a lot of trust in their coach to lead them to the next level. Many coaches even play the role as parent.  This loving, trusting relationship can turn bad in an instant.
    Unfortunately, some of the time school districts can become so caught up in statistics and wins, they overlook the big picture and hire someone who has been accused of sexual violations.  An example of this arose in Yakima County with a girl's high school golf coach.  Although accused in a nearby county of groping girls the school district decided his success record was to hard to pass by.  I find this disturbing.  How can the school officials allow girl's lives to be in danger for the benefit of a sports team. I do not believe high school sports are that important.  Schools are meant to protect their students, not hire a coaching predator.
   I feel an incoming coach needs to have his record thoroughly examined along with several letters of recommendation.  I understand this will not eliminate the problem, but we can keep it from continuing. The first accusation of sexual misconduct, the coach needs to be thoroughly examined.  If found true the coach needs to be fired immediately. No second chances should exist.   I feel the response the school uses now is ineffective.  Typically the agency closes a case without conducting an examination, if they do they take years to investigate a case.  Also, even when serious wrong doing is found the resulting discipline is meek. This type of environment is unacceptable for the young athlete. One should feel safe under the supervision of their coach, not vandalized.

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