In wake of Sandusky case, AAU takes steps to protect young athletes
The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) on Tuesday announced measures to protect young athletes from sexual abuse. The new steps require all adults to have background checks, and that young athletes should never be left alone with individual adults.
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The Amateur Athletic Union on Tuesday announced measures to protect young athletes from sexual abuse after allegations of abuse were raised last year against a former president of the nation's largest youth sports organization.
The issue of sexual abuse of athletes exploded onto the national scene last year when former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys. His trial began this week, and one accuser testified that he was repeatedly abused by Sandusky.
After news of the Penn State scandal broke last year, two men independently confronted former AAU President Bobby Dodd with claims of sexual abuse. The AAU has severed ties to Dodd, but no criminal charges were filed against him.
The new AAU measures to protect young athletes resulted from six months of study by two task forces.
They require all adults involved in AAU activities - from volunteer coaches to AAU staff - to undergo detailed background checks. This includes all current members of the staff or volunteers as well as those who come to the organization in the future.