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Thread: US Coaches restricted by SafeSport

  1. #61
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    https://www.usfsa.org/events?id=84015

    Most events are competitions, but there are also less popular events that are showcases, after school club meetings, festivals, and so forth. Don't know if training camps or seminars are traditionally added into the database.

    The Road to Gold 2018 event page says that the event was sanctioned by the USFSA, although I am doubtful they knew about John's status when they held the event.
    http://comp.entryeeze.com/Home.aspx?cid=635

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    https://www.usfsa.org/events?id=84015

    Most events are competitions, but there are also less popular events that are showcases, after school club meetings, festivals, and so forth. Don't know if training camps or seminars are traditionally added into the database.

    The Road to Gold 2018 event page says that the event was sanctioned by the USFSA, although I am doubtful they knew about John's status when they held the event.
    http://comp.entryeeze.com/Home.aspx?cid=635
    My mom always says what is fair is when you get something or what you want. I appreciate the desire and movement towards a safer sport environment free of abuse, bullying and any form of harassment. USA and Canada have a criminal justice system based on innocense until proven guilty. Their bail systems also consider safety issues to the public while maintaining innocense. It is a fine balance of the objectives of a safe environment and not wrongfully destrying the lives of those Accused. Of course, there is a fine line as there is the truth and then there is what can be proven which may not necessarily be the truth. Keeping skaters/kids safe is very important. I fully agree.

    I recently read a story which involved two young police officers who went to Cuba who have a very different system than most in respect the presumption of innocense really isn't seen and the accused or investigated can be detained een without charges. The two officers went to a 4 star Cuban resort. Another Canadian woman was there and depending on who you believe certainly hooked up with the two men. She had sex with one and it t urns out she is under 18 years old 17. Age may not be an issue in Cuba but consent is. She claims she was sexually assaulted by one of the men. She claims she was drugged and dragged over 500m through the resort - pool, lobby, bar, elevator to the hotel room and then was left in tears and fleeing the hotel room. The officers claim they weren't interested but didn't exactly disuade the young woman from following them to their room where she had consensual sex with one and tried to have sex with the other who repeatedly refused. The prosecutors did not provide any of the many CCTV footage which should establish their case or disprove it as the complainant alleged she was dragged and struggled with the accused. There is one third party witness who says there is nothing he saw that suggested any resistance or dragging and when she left she did not seem drunk or upset or crying as the complainant alleged. There was NO reasonable likelihood of conviction with such evidence but the Cubans ran the trial and after an acquittal by five female judges tried to appeal it. The officers languished in prison for I believe 8 months and then were forced to foot the bill while waiting for an appeal which was shot down. The issue of age is is not an issue in Cuba (17 at least) and it seems clear the resort was supplying with her drinks so she appeared older. But those men's lives, finances and it appears careers may be ruined. despite clear evidence it didnt' happen or that th ecomplainant could not be relied upon the officers have huge legal, accommodation bills and may be out of work now. So the point is you have to be careful about balancing safety and the rights of the accused.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    … The Road to Gold 2018 event page says that the event was sanctioned by the USFSA, although I am doubtful they knew about John's status when they held the event. ...
    From the brief USFS statement, there is no indication that SafeSport or USFS has/had a requirement that the club be notified re Coughlin (whether before or after the event).
    (If[?] there in fact were such a requirement, seems to me that the onus should have been on USFS and not on the individual. Just MO.)

    All I know about the Coughlin matter is the little that is in the USFS statement and in the Brennan article.
    So far, I have no reason to believe that Coughlin is not complying with whatever the interim SafeSport restriction is.

  4. #64
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    At this point, it is less of "what is legal exactly, technically," and more of:

    Do parents want to know if their children's' teacher or coach is currently under investigation by SafeSpot, an organization that, in theory, protects children from abuse and bullying? I've seen the social media photos, and it looks like Road to Gold 2018 seminar had many underage participants, I'll estimate age 5-14, and there were time slots for private lessons. Do you think their parents would've like to have knowledge of John Coughlin's status?

    "Hey, uh, just so you know, one of the coaches, John, he's in a bit of trouble ... no, no, we don't know exactly what sort ... no, it's not necessarily like that gymnastics man ... it's probably all right, we know John, he's a nice guy, and we don't know who the Jane or John Doe is. Probably nothing, but we're open and transparent about that sort of thing. Anyway, the fee for the training camp is $x, credit card or check please."

    Probably only the last sentence was said.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    At this point, it is less of "what is legal exactly, technically," ...
    Not for me, although apparently for you.

    Given that we do not know anything specific about what precipitated the SafeSport investigation, I am refraining from making a judgment of what is or is not called for at this point.

    All I know is that John is required to comply with a restriction that has not been disclosed to the public. And again, I have no reason to believe that he is not complying.

  6. #66
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    I'm going to make a judgement, and say that parents should be informed of their coach's new quasi-legal status as a person under investigation for abuse, especially if their child is taking private lessons with that coach.

  7. #67
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    On January 17, the USFSA raised John Coughlin's restriction, after more people came forward with allegations.
    On January 19, John Coughlin died.

    "Update on John Coughlin, two-time US pairs figure skating champion: SafeSport has just elevated his disciplinary record to 'Interim Suspension' in the wake of what are believed to be more complaints against him."

  8. #68
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    “Safer sport”, cost the life of a young athlete! RIP John. They pre judge you. Gossip and pre judging also destroys lives.

  9. #69
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    It’s incredibly insensitive to state that the allegations are only gossip. How would you know?
    And of course you need to take these steps (suspension etc) until a case is resolved, when someone comes forward with credible allegations. That’s state of the art in any investigations of this kind.

  10. #70
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    What will now The U.S. Center for SafeSport do after the death of John Coughlin? Can someone describe the procedure?

  11. #71
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    I hope that whatever the procedure is it’s still investigated.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyguy View Post
    What will now The U.S. Center for SafeSport do after the death of John Coughlin? Can someone describe the procedure?
    I'm not sure. On one hand, his actions needs to be brought to light and justice. On the other hand, there's no one to prosecute anymore. SafeSport should make a public statement soon.

    As for the past few weeks, I am moderately surprised at how much people are willing to overlook potential child abuse just because someone is charismatic and is good at hopping around on ice. Even after John Coughlin knew he was under investigations, he still taught a seminar in Arkansas. What was he thinking? People were not upset that he was giving private lessons to children, while being under investigation for child abuse. Even when it came to light that he gave group and private lessons, people said, it's probably ok, it's John Coughlin, we know John.

    Meanwhile, the Jane Joe or John Doe accusers didn't skate Ave Maria, they didn't win the pairs championship, they didn't win 6th at Worlds, they didn't get a TV commentating job, they were not ISU ambassador, or John Wilson Blades ambassador. Why should we give them an ounce of credibility?

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    On January 17, the USFSA raised John Coughlin's restriction, after more people came forward with allegations.
    On January 19, John Coughlin died.

    "Update on John Coughlin, two-time US pairs figure skating champion: SafeSport has just elevated his disciplinary record to 'Interim Suspension' in the wake of what are believed to be more complaints against him."
    After more people are believed to have come forward with allegations. What kind of allegations, we have no idea. But that doesn't stop some people from automatically assuming they were true allegations of severe sexual misconduct.

    And now we might never know.

    Even if these allegations were true, there's no guarantee that the next ones will be.

  14. #74
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    I don't want to spread unsubstantiated gossip or speculation, of course, but does anyone know what the allegations were (without mentioning names or anything, of course)?

    There is a very wide spectrum of "sexual misconduct." Our minds go to the worst. I think the injustice here, if there is one, is that no details were put forth as to how severe the accusations were. The MeToo movement got people fired for rape rooms with secret locks, and they got people fired for sending some dirty e-mails 10 years before. These are not the same thing.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by brightphoton View Post
    … while being under investigation for child abuse. ...
    AFAIK:

    We know only that John was under investigation for a reason that was not disclosed by SafeSport.

    We do not know that he was under investigation for child abuse.

    And as previously discussed in this thread, the USFS statement regarding the original interim restriction (which was undisclosed)
    said in part: "The Center has not prohibited or limited Coughlin from taking part in any activity under the Center’s jurisdiction."
    This original interim restriction (which did not prohibit or limit John's activity) was in effect at the time of the club event.



    My condolences to John's family and friends.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by ice coverage View Post
    AFAIK:

    We know only that John was under investigation for a reason that was not disclosed by SafeSport.

    We do not know that he was under investigation for child abuse.

    And as previously discussed in this thread, the USFS statement regarding the original interim restriction (which was undisclosed)
    said in part: "The Center has not prohibited or limited Coughlin from taking part in any activity under the Center’s jurisdiction."



    My condolences to John's family and friends.
    This, while Safe Sport is mostly associated with sexual abuse, the allegations could have been about bullying or others. I understand TSL was saying somethings but since I blocked them and I would rather chop my hand before give them a click, I have no idea what they were saying.

    I don´t blame them for what happened, they took the necessary steps. At this point I would think John have a strong depression that was aggravated by the investigation. It always looked to me like he was really affected by his mother passing out.

    My heart goes out to his family and friends, specially his father, who he seemed very close to.

  17. #77
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    This just makes me really, really sad. Cause and effect.

  18. #78
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    Since the subject is very delicate, in case someone is triggered by this news, please use the prevention hotlines.

    Here are some links to suicide prevention hotlines around the word:
    1
    2
    3

  19. #79
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    I think the best practice for all involved would have been for SafeSport to make public a.) the general nature of the allegations and b.) what preliminary process had been undertaken to ascertain their credibility before issuing the first suspension. I think this would have been better for everyone involved including John, in the event that the allegations were something less than the worst case scenario. There is definitely a spectrum of even criminally bad behavior: even something as bad as abusing one's position of power as coach to start a romantic relationship with an underage teenager, like Richard Callaghan, is not in the same universe as molesting pre-pubescent children like Larry Nasser. With no further detail it is true that the gossip mills leap to the worst-case scenario conclusions. To me, the fact that SafeSport went through several phases of investigation before suspending him is a good thing about their process; it would indeed have been irresponsible and unfair to John and his family if they took any kind of public action with no investigation of any kind. But it doesn't appear that they did that; something had to have been going on to get from the first stage of formal action to the second. That said, while John's death is tragic, I don't understand the anger at Safe Sport and the media for acknowledging that something was going on. There's no way to investigate allegations without alerting the world that something is going on. What do those who are angry suggest should have happened? That the allegations have been ignored? Has the experience of Nasser's 150 child victims made NO impact on you, in terms of the dangers of ignoring these allegations? I absolutely do not believe that any allegation of sexual misconduct should be taken at face value and believed with no investigation or due process for the accused (I'm actually a criminal law professor, so I think about this all the time). After centuries of human history of ignoring victims entirely, we are now in a cultural moment where I really do fear over-correcting to the point of instantly branding men as predators with no recourse for them to defend themselves, at least in the public eye. But if there were credible allegations here, the system in place to protect athletes had a responsibility to do something about it. It is deeply sad that John has taken his own life, but that doesn't change the fact that the system appears to have been operating the way it was supposed to. (I agree with those who have said they hope the investigation will continue and we will get some public statement to understand what has happened here).

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feline Feeder View Post
    I don't want to spread unsubstantiated gossip or speculation, of course, but does anyone know what the allegations were (without mentioning names or anything, of course)?

    There is a very wide spectrum of "sexual misconduct." Our minds go to the worst. I think the injustice here, if there is one, is that no details were put forth as to how severe the accusations were. The MeToo movement got people fired for rape rooms with secret locks, and they got people fired for sending some dirty e-mails 10 years before. These are not the same thing.
    AFAIK, SafeSport, John, and the accuser(s) are the only ones who know anything for sure. There was nothing reported conclusively, just that an investigation/allegation(s) exist.

    Also, there has still been no mention of police or lawyers.

    This is what USFSA said:

    John Coughlin
    On January 17, 2019 the U.S. Center for SafeSport issued the following interim measure regarding U.S. Figure Skating member John Coughlin:

    Temporary Suspension. Beginning on January 17, 2019, Responding Party John Coughlin 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 2, U.S. Figure Skating hereby suspends John Coughlin, beginning on January 17, 2019, pending final resolution of the matter by the U.S. Center for SafeSport.”
    Maybe there were more accusations, or maybe it was just the next step of the investigation of the initial ones. And it was a temporary suspension pending final resolution.

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