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Thread: US Coaches restricted by SafeSport

  1. #21
    Tripping on the Podium DanseMacabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    But it's the other way around, isn't it? The SafeSport Center was created only in 2017, mostly in response to the gymnastics case which went back to the 1990s but came fully to light only in 2017.

    The problem with these organizations (the drug compliance folks, too), is that they have quasi-legal powers but they report only to the USOC or to the individual sports governing bodies. They are not the police. They are not officers of the courts.
    Exactly re: the opening of SafeSport (along with the swimming, taekwondo, etc abuse scandals). Also, when it opened its doors it had 4 employees. Now it has 29 but they still lack both the manpower, the funds, and the actual power to be truly effective. The NGBs and USOC carry the burden of having allowed abuse to run rampant in their sports, not SafeSport.

    Sources: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...ts/2380724002/

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...wn/2438229002/

  2. #22
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    But it's the other way around, isn't it? The SafeSport Center was created only in 2017, mostly in response to the gymnastics case which went back to the 1990s but came fully to light only in 2017.

    The problem with these organizations (the drug compliance folks, too), is that they have quasi-legal powers but they report only to the USOC or to the individual sports governing bodies. They are not the police. They are not officers of the courts.
    USOC formed the SafeSport program back in 2010. I understand the potential problem with giving too much power to yet another unaccountable organization which can become not so independent and impartial pretty soon. Another layer of bureaucracy and lack of transparency. Also a question: what if they accuse and suspend someone by mistake? Misunderstandings happen, and often, but when smoke clears out the careers and reputations could be already ruined. At the same time we saw how abuse of big magnitude in WAG had been overlooked for decades.

    Oh, and yes, the drug compliance folks, don't get me started.

  3. #23
    GS Supporter el henry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    I just searched and looked up all the figure skating decisions from Safesport. John is not in good company. If he is innocent of charges, he would be the first in Safesport history.
    Then again, there's a first for everything.

    90% of the figure skating historical allegations/final decisions are sexual in nature. I notice that Richard Callaghan, who was accused by then underage boys, is filed under general "misconduct."

    https://safesport.org/userviolations/search
    The link doesn’t show that about allegations, unless I am missing something I found only a search page at that link, for which I would need to enter a password, etc., that I do not have.

    When I look on the USFS page, under grievances, I see quite a few that were dismissed or found insufficient. I do not see any indication that public figure skating complaints in the Safe Sport process are some kind of “slam dunk” cases

    Jumping off, and not directed at this post, one would expect a functioning system to sustain some allegations and dismiss others. If 99% of those accused are found “guilty”, or if charges are dismissed against 99% of those accused, it might give one pause

  4. #24
    avatar credit: @miyan5605 ice coverage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    ... I found only a search page at that link, for which I would need to enter a password, etc., that I do not have. ....
    Maybe you mean something else … but a password is not necessary to use the search page, at least for a basic search. Perhaps greater functionality is possible with a password?



    Note: Going by search results for Gymnastics, it seems that the SafeSport search page will not include names if allegations have been cleared.

    The results are in alphabetic order by first name.

    Alex Naddour and Dan Witenstein, who were cleared of allegations, do not appear in the search results.

  5. #25
    GS Supporter el henry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexz View Post
    USOC formed the SafeSport program back in 2010.

    ....

    (
    Can you tell me where you are getting the 2010 date from? Every reputable source I have read gives the March 2017 date cited by @Mathman and @Danse Macabre as the date that the US Center for Safe Sport was established (of course trademarks and such mean little, at least under US law, those preliminaries have nothing to do with when the actual organization is formed).
    Last edited by el henry; 01-08-2019 at 10:49 PM. Reason: grammar: "are", not "really"

  6. #26
    GS Supporter el henry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ice coverage View Post
    Maybe you mean something else … but a password is not necessary to use the search page, at least for a basic search. Perhaps greater functionality is possible with a password?



    Note: Going by search results for Gymnastics, it seems that the SafeSport search page will not include names if allegations have been cleared.

    The results are in alphabetic order by first name.

    Alex Naddour and Dan Witenstein, who were cleared of allegations, do not appear in the search results.
    That may be it; I am on a mobile and maybe I didn’t reset as many cookies as I thought

    for the research concerning specific names with the search function, very interesting.

  7. #27
    Tripping on the Podium DanseMacabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexz View Post
    USOC formed the SafeSport program back in 2010.
    Quote Originally Posted by el henry View Post
    Can you tell me where you really getting the 2010 date from? Every reputable source I have read gives the March 2017 date cited by @Mathman and @Danse Macabre as the date that the US Center for Safe Sport was established (of course trademarks and such mean little, at least under US law, those preliminaries have nothing to do with when the actual organization is formed).
    So, there's a dead citation link (retrieved 2013 and bearing the signature of Scott Blackmun who's being investigated for his own inaction that enabled Larry Nassar's abuse to continue so I'd take that pledge with a grain of salt) on the USOC Wikipedia page for this: "After convening in 2010 the Working Group for Safe Training Environments,[9] USOC formed the Safe Sport program to address child sexual abuse, bullying, hazing and harassment and emotional, physical and sexual misconduct within its domain.[10]"

    But what happened was that the U.S. Center for SafeSport opened years after it was supposed to, which is another huge problem. No one at USOC cared enough to get the ball rolling until the Larry Nassar case pushed the bad publicity to a tipping point. The current center started operating at full capacity in March 2017, but even then it was woefully ill-equipped to fulfill its intended purpose. The source links I included in my previous post address this.

  8. #28
    Medalist Hyena's Avatar
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    I have not been impressed at all with the way Safe Sport has handled things.

    But "innocent until proven guilty" applies to legal cases. In the professional world, innocence has to be proven to an extent. As other posters have mentioned, it's typical and appropriate to put someone on leave when they've been accused of any kind of abuse. The flip side is allowing someone who has been credibly accused to go on and abuse more people before they're finally given the boot.

  9. #29
    avatar credit: @miyan5605 ice coverage's Avatar
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    To be clear about my own position (not trying to speak for others):

    I do not have a problem with professional restrictions being placed on someone who is being investigated regarding an allegation.

    Believing in "innocent until proven guilty" is not mutually exclusive from believing that such restrictions are acceptable during an investigation.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ice coverage View Post
    In gymnastics, SafeSport cleared at least two individuals of allegations in 2018, as reported by The Arizona Republic. One was the well-known Alex Naddour.

    … Olympic bronze medal-winning gymnast Alex Naddour of Queen Creek has been cleared of a sexual misconduct allegation by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. ...

    Naddour is the second Phoenix area gymnastics clearing this year by the U.S. Center for SafeSport. Dan Witenstein, owner of Arizona Sunrays, was cleared July 21 of a misconduct allegation that also landed him on the USA Gymnastics suspended list. ...


    https://www.azcentral.com/story/spor...rt/1283769002/ (Nov 25)
    Yes, and unfortunately most don't remember the clearing. Just the accusation.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by StitchMonkey View Post
    But frankly that is a problem with society. We should not judge a person based on accusations, we should not compromise a person's livelyhood based on accusations. Frankly we should understand that things happen and have we have to let things shake out.

    Someone felt they needed to say something. That is ok. We as a society should not have an issue with someone saying something about John, but also should not have any issues with John at this point.

    In order for things to get better... we have to let investigations like this happen without it negatively impacting the person being investigated.

    Frankly we as a society need to rethink how we react to accusations and investigations.
    You're fighting against human nature. What generally happens with criminal investigations is that people decide a person is guilty based on one-sided news coverage (because the accused person's attorney will advise them not to speak to the press). Then there's a trial and if the person is found not guilty people go nuts declaring that justice hasn't been served (typically without seeing the evidence the jury has seen). I can think of many instances but am not going to name names because I don't want to start arguments.
    Our justice system is very marred, just look at the people who get released from death row after decades because they were cleared by DNA evidence. People who have never heard John Coughlin's name before are likely now going to associate it with something bad *even if he is cleared*. I want him to be not guilty because I love John Coughlin. It is a good sign that people in his area believe the charges are unfounded. I understand the need to protect children, but there needs to be a balance.

  12. #32
    Bona Fide Member StitchMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonvine View Post
    You're fighting against human nature.


    Sometimes that is a good thing that needs to happen.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by StitchMonkey View Post
    Sometimes that is a good thing that needs to happen.
    I don't dispute that at all. I just am too cynical to believe that there is a way to fix it.

  14. #34
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanseMacabre View Post
    So, there's a dead citation link (retrieved 2013 and bearing the signature of Scott Blackmun who's being investigated for his own inaction that enabled Larry Nassar's abuse to continue so I'd take that pledge with a grain of salt) on the USOC Wikipedia page for this: "After convening in 2010 the Working Group for Safe Training Environments,[9] USOC formed the Safe Sport program to address child sexual abuse, bullying, hazing and harassment and emotional, physical and sexual misconduct within its domain.[10]"

    But what happened was that the U.S. Center for SafeSport opened years after it was supposed to, which is another huge problem. No one at USOC cared enough to get the ball rolling until the Larry Nassar case pushed the bad publicity to a tipping point. The current center started operating at full capacity in March 2017, but even then it was woefully ill-equipped to fulfill its intended purpose. The source links I included in my previous post address this.
    Yeah, that exactly where I seen this. So, per Scott Blackmun's words (said a while ago, but not retrieved and deleted from their website) they had started forming (thinking about?) SafeSport back in 2010. SafeSport started operating it recently. But speaking logically here, all the complaints of abuse and all the reports of horrible things happening in professional Olympic sports (so far WAG, USA Swimming, Taekwando, Diving) were flooding to USOC for years. For decades. Nassar was doing his crimes against gymnast/teenagers for 2 decades. There were complaints against Nassar earlier. It was just documented recently in few reports ( like they become aware about all that only in 2016 after Rio. Forming SafeSport is probably a silly USOC's attempt to whitewash and shift the blame from them to newly-formed "independent" organization.


    BTW, teamusa.org:

    In 2010, the USOC convened the Working Group for Safe Training Environments and charged it with the task of developing a set of recommendations concerning misconduct in sport.
    Following the Working Group’s recommendations, in early 2012, the USOC launched its SafeSport initiative, delivering a first-of-its-kind abuse prevention program that was shared through an engaged network comprised of 47 NGBs and 34 Multi-Sport Organizations with a combined reach of 73 million members. Participating organizations were encouraged to develop and tailor the SafeSport program to meet their unique needs.

    In June 2014, the USOC reaffirmed its commitment to advance the safety and well-being of American athletes by approving the creation of the U.S. Center for SafeSport – an independent entity designed to oversee education programs, and investigate and adjudicate sexual misconduct claims in sports that are managed by USOC-sanctioned NGBs. Participation in the entity – which launched in March 2017 – is a condition of continued membership in the USOC.

    How much funding does the USOC dedicate to safe sport?

    Beginning in 2018, the USOC will effectively double its funding for the U.S. Center for SafeSport to enable the hiring of more investigators and staff, improve the timely resolution of cases, enhance ongoing communication for victims and their families, provide age-appropriate training on recognizing and helping to prevent abuse, and offer better and more accessible resources online.
    https://www.teamusa.org/Home/Team%20...s/Safe%20Sport

  15. #35
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonvine View Post
    Yes, and unfortunately most don't remember the clearing. Just the accusation.
    Exactly my point. Alex will always have this stain on his reputation.

  16. #36
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Here is a good example of what can possibly happen if we allow sport organizations to hide things for decades: https://www.nassarinvestigation.com/...ull-Report.pdf
    Shortened brief: https://www.nassarinvestigation.com/...ve-Summary.pdf

    It is also worth to note that these survivors of abuse and rape in WAG are not satisfied with this investigation. They say they have victims among them which were complaining and reporting to USAG and USOC more than a decade ago. There are lawsuits in action now which prevent them to talk more. Yet. But they already said this investigation is just not enough and does not show the full picture yet. I believe Aly Raisman was one of the first to reflect on this report. She said that it is not full and a very "diet" version. It went for far longer and neglected far more than that. But all these and more could become a public knowledge soon if they would not reach settlement or it become available under Freedom of Information Act.

    In the report USOC-hired law firm tried to paint a picture: "Oh USOC did not really know, they just found out in 2016 and that why they started SafeSport in 2017." In short, they basically trying to desperately draw the line where to stop further investigations. That's it.

    SafeSport is useless since it is not the police and not the child protection services. SafeSport is just another layer of USOC bureaucracy. They are probably located in the same offices as USOC. I won't be surprised. In cases of abuse/rape athletes (and their parents) should just lawer up and go to the police. Like any normal citizen. Such cases at first should not be made public for a simple purpose - not to hurt coach's reputation for (possibly) no reason. Unless there is a probable cause and police and DA send this case to trail. Only then the allegations against coach should be made public. I have more trust in FBI, police and our judicial system than USOC. If the coach is guilty let the law reflect that, have him temporary suspended quietly, investigated and tried in court. Why we need SafeSport and USOC in this? So they can keep sweeping troubles under the rag for decades until this all will blow up in our faces again?

    SafeSport is yet another unaccounted organization of sport-bureaucracy with the lack of transparency. Who is voting for them? How they represent public interest and morale of our society? Do they represent all sport community and can be fully trusted by all athletes and their parents? What is their jurisdiction and legal responsibilities? What law regulates their activities? On another hand, the police, FBI and child protection services are accountable to federal and local governments, which we are voting for and pay taxes to for their services, and we hold them accountable if something bad happened. But it is hard for them to enforce law and look after underage athletes if some sort of "independent" sport organization hiding things and doing their "in-house investigations". Or in another words: simply neglecting, disregarding and chocking victims of abuse for years.

    So, I'm not buying this SafeSport's PR-campaign "we are doing everything in the interest of athletes". Problems had started decades ago, and they formed SafeSport only in 2017 after they could pat themselves on the backs and pretend to not hide things any more? Until it is not public they are not interested in saving and protecting athletes from abusive coaches? What are they good for than? Talk to sponsors? I think athletes should be allowed to sport their own sponsors on their uniforms and talk to their sponsors directly.

    Well, they deleted information about thinking/forming SafeSport in 2010 from their website. But internet remembers everything. I can casually go to web-archiving and find out what they were publishing and saying about abuse and SafeSport back in 2010. So could everyone, including investigative journalism like IndyStar. It's harder to hide things nowadays. Just saying.

  17. #37
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    BTW,



    Richard Callaghan

    On March 6, 2018, the U.S. Center for SafeSport issued the following interim measure regarding U.S. Figure Skating member Richard Callaghan:

    "SUSPENSION, beginning on March 6, 2018, Richard Callaghan is prohibited from participating, in any capacity, in any activity or competition authorized by, organized by, or under the auspices of the United States Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies recognized by the United States Olympic Committee, including U.S. Figure Skating, and/or a Local Affiliated Organization of a national governing body recognized by the United States Olympic Committee."

    Pursuant to U.S. Figure Skating Bylaw Article XXV, Section 4, U.S. Figure Skating hereby suspends the membership of Richard Callaghan, beginning on March 6, 2018, pending final resolution of the matter by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.
    https://www.usfigureskating.org/stor...memberservices

    So Richard Callaghan was suspended more than a year ago. At least SafeSport says so on USFS website. Has he been coaching until recently when this was made public?

  18. #38
    GS Supporter SnowWhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexz View Post
    BTW,




    https://www.usfigureskating.org/stor...memberservices

    So Richard Callaghan was suspended more than a year ago. At least SafeSport says so on USFS website. Has he been coaching until recently when this was made public?
    ? March 2018 is less than a year ago.

  19. #39
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowWhite View Post
    ? March 2018 is less than a year ago.
    i was gonna type "more than half a year ago". I was on a smartphone via tapatalk app, and my typing and wording are usually sloppy and bizarre when I dont use real keyboard. Thanks for your correction.

  20. #40
    Medalist Alexz's Avatar
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    Meanwhile.
    The tension is high between the US Olympic Committee and many athletes over governance of the Olympic movement in America. An ad hoc group of athletes publicly called on the USOC board to resign last week over their frustration with recent board appointments.

    USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland responded over the weekend by emailing members of the Athlete Advisory Council, asking them athletes to “hold their peers accountable” for what she saw as untruthful claims about the board appointments.

    Since the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal first broke, new allegations of athlete abuse have come out of USA Swimming, USA Diving, and USA Taekwondo. Many athletes are fed up with the USOC because they believe the corporate structure of the organization prevents top officials from doing a better job of protecting them.
    https://koaa.com/news/2019/01/08/ten...-and-athletes/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=p5lYvPelNjk

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