By Katherine Starr
The NCAA levied a $60 million sanction against Penn State University after reviewing the outcome of the Freeh report which identified the failures of the institution to protect the victims and putting the institution’s needs above the law. Penn State was obligated to comply with child welfare laws and Title IX; it failed. Laws were in place. In the case of Title IX, the institution had required policies and procedures in place. The institution did all of the things it was supposed to do on paper and ultimately, but ultimately this was no more than “lip service” to its legal and ethical obligations. The lesson to be learned from Penn State is a pretty simple one. The organization reflects the values and ethics of its leadership. When a law like Title IX gets passed, whether it is the sexual harassment provisions of the law or its athletics participation requirements, if the institution does not embraces its purpose, educate its staff and make certain that all employees clearly understand their obligations – then Sandusky happens. No one in the formal leadership – presidents and senior administrators – or in the informal power club – Paterno, made it clear that compliance with the law was an expected zero tolerance obligation.
American wins gold medal but her most important victory came when she gave evidence against coach who abused her
As Kayla Harrison strived for a judo gold medal yesterday – the first in America's history – it was one of those occasions which remind you that sometimes the margin between victory and defeat is so fine that in a vital way it ceases to exist.
Certainly, you could make such an assessment of the Olympic fate of the 22-year-old who a few years ago was found sobbing uncontrollably in the corridor of a US courthouse.
It was on the day she gave the evidence that sent her coach from childhood down for 10 years for sexual abuse.
Not surprisingly for many – and maybe not least Harrison, who is ranked world No 2 in her 78kg category – yesterday was as much an exorcism as a last push for glory.
WAKEFIELD, Mass. — Too often, an Olympic dream for glory brings instead sexual abuse.
In the case of Middletown’s Kayla Harrison, the No. 2 judo athlete in the world in her 78-kilo (172-pound) weight class, it will have brought both should she win gold — as she’s favored to do — at the London Olympic Games.
Now 22 and living and training in Wakefield, Mass., Harrison was sexually abused from the time she was 13 to 16 by Daniel Doyle, her Centerville judo coach. Doyle is now serving a 10-year sentence in a federal prison.
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE AMATEUR SPORT ACT TO ADVANCE ATHLETE WELFARE AND SAFETY
by Katherine Starr
Unlike athletes and students in schools and colleges who are protected by Title IX’s sexual harassment and abuse provisions, athletes in open amateur sports are currently unprotected from coach or sport leader misconduct except by criminal law. While the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has promulgated recommended policies, it does not require its national sport governing bodies (NGBs) nor the local organizations and coaches who are members of these championship conducting entities, to have such protections in place. Thus, children and adult participants in non-school youth sports programs nationwide are vulnerable to pedophiles and unethical coaches who use parent and athlete respect for their positions to manipulate their athletes to engage in inappropriate relationships and sexual exploitation.