Protecting youth athletes from becoming victims of sexual predators involves much more than criminal background checks of coaches before they are hired, says a longtime interscholastic sports administrator.
The Penn State scandal didn’t occur in youth sports. Yet, it is one of the rare occasions that sex abuse by coaches, which is a major problem in youth sports, got the type of national publicity that allowed the problem to penetrate the public consciousness.
The big question is whether we as a sports society are up to the task of doing to more to prevent future abuse.
One of every three girls and one of every six boys will be victims of sexual abuse by the time they
are 18. One of the places that children are vulnerable is in youth sports. Unfortunately sexual abuse of young players has occurred in youth sports leagues of all kinds, as well as with individual coaches in individual youth sports.