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jyork84

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Reply with quote  #1 
With the recent news on the Muldrow softball coach being charged as a child predator, I've realized how close this hits to home.  

This man's daughter played for my team a couple years back.  He actually stepped on the field with my team as a dad helping out at practice, etc.  At the time, I just appreciated his volunteered help.  I never thought that I would need to ask each parent if they've ever been charged as a predator or go run background checks, but where do you draw the line on this stuff?  I hate to be blunt with these people, but you never know who you're dealing with anymore.  

I just want to assure my players that they're safe while playing softball (the sport they love). So, whatever measures I have to take, I will.   

Anyhow, it's definitely an eye-opener for me.  I haven't been made aware of any specific situations that occurred when his daughter played for me, but my thoughts and prayers go out to ANY players that have been preyed on.  Not just by him, but by any of these sick individuals.  

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sniperone

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Reply with quote  #2 
I agree with you LJ.
Statistics will tell you that a number of girls at the ballpark on any given weekend are being abused and violated in ways we don't want to even think about.
We must remain vigilant in knowing that child predators walk among us in the places where these girls are supposed to be safe.
They are opportunists, vile in their exploitation of our trust and methodically navigating their ways into these girls lives.
The spouses of these animals that knowingly turn a blind eye to their abhorrent behavior are just as revolting if not moreso because THEY KNOW and choose to do nothing.
We must be more diligent in knowing who is around our kids.
Know that these monsters walk amongst us.
It sickens me that I've shared a meal with this psychopathically animal but chances are some of you are doing the same and do not know.
We all gotta look out for each other.
ssteiert

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Reply with quote  #3 
The scary part is he probably could have passed a background check prior to yesterday.  Predators are lurking everywhere.  Sadly, we must teach our kids to not blindly trust coaches/teachers and to never put themselves into a compromising position with them.  If their spidey senses are telling them something isn't right, they need to listen.  The same goes for us adults.  Sadly, he is not the first nor will he be the last.  
Easton34

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Reply with quote  #4 
Was he an actual coach or just a guy that helped out?
jyork84

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Reply with quote  #5 
he just helped me out on my team, but that was a couple of years ago.  
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"The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have." Vince Lombardi
sniperone

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Reply with quote  #6 
I think he was the assistant coach for the Lady Hawks
kenlindsy

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Reply with quote  #7 
I personally make every coach and assistant coach that comes into my organization submit to a background check. It’s nothing personal against any one but my first priority has to be the safety of the girls that play within my organization. With that being said, this guys daughter played with me for a while and he approached me wanting to help out. Two days after i told him that i needed to get him to submit to a background check he approached me and told me that he just didnt feel that his daughter was ready to play up at the level that we were competing at. I never put much thought into that until now, but everything in me now tells me that background checks are a necessity πŸ‘
jlrote32

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Reply with quote  #8 
Background checks are fine, but many of these predators have yet to be caught or convicted.  I too was shaken about this news.  I think we as coaches now have to have heightened awareness in this area.  It saddens me that we have grown men prowling on impressionable young ladies.  

I think it is time for us to have discussions with our players to tell them that they should feel empowered to speak up if they feel uncomfortable in a situation or if they feel threatened in anyway. We need to be their advocates and assist them however we can to get the help the need so they don't feel like they are alone and helpless.  We need to be a safe haven for them.  It is time for us to step up our game.

I want to protect my team just like my own daughter.  

We owe it to them.  Its hard to see a predator, they don't wear a t-shirt or have a stamp on their forehead.  However, we can educate our players and our parents.  We can give potential victims a voice.

For all of you coaches out there doing this thankless job for all the right reasons. Keep it up.  Your players look up to you and you are making an impact on their lives that will last.

God Bless,  
Coach Rote
Oklahoma Kaos Softball

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CarolynS

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Reply with quote  #9 
I realize that background checks only help if they have a history.  However, USA Softball along with the United States Olympic Committee, has gone one step further and requires USA Softball coaches to complete the SafeSport program every 2 years. 

SafeSport is an awareness program on: Sexual Misconduct and Awareness Education; Mandatory Reporting; Emotional and Physical Misconduct.

People complain about our registration process.  But, we are trying our best to keep the players as safe as possible!

Carolyn Shafer
JO Commissioner
USA Softball of Oklahoma
kenlindsy

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Reply with quote  #10 
One of the many reasons i like playing USA Carolyn πŸ‘ i wish everyone had the same registration process
jyork84

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Reply with quote  #11 
Carolyn, so that is part of the USA softball background check process that head coach/managers and assistant coaches go through already?

Should awareness be raised a step further to where all coaches need to carry the ID card on them during an event?  That way everyone knows that each coach has for sure been through the process, and each coach involved understands why it is important.  I always carry mine, and I'm sure most other coaches do to.  However, if it could be validated before each coach checks in (or whatever is most feasible), I believe that adds more credibility to this system.  

Thanks for providing your input!  
 

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"The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have." Vince Lombardi
CarolynS

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Reply with quote  #12 
The SafeSport program became mandatory in January, 2018 prior to taking ACE.  Anyone can go to SafeSport and take the course for free. 

Unless the umpires check credentials for who is on the field, it would be hard to enforce them to have their cards with them.  We will look into doing that.  Just because a couple of coaches show us their cards at check-in, we don't know if that is actually who is on the field/dugout.  I agree it is not a perfect system.  But, it is a start on what can be done and we can build from here.

I believe we are the only association that actually runs and required background checks, much less additional training.

Thank you for your input and suggestions!

Carolyn
jyork84

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Reply with quote  #13 
thanks, Carolyn.  I know you only have control over the USA sanction.  I would just like to raise awareness.  Not make it a major pain, but bring more attention to the topic. I know there's a lot of coaches, parents, and mainly players that would appreciate it.  

I guess if Lynn Arnold or someone reads this, is USSSA looking at implementing any background check/validation process?  I know they have the Guardian check that validates that their child is on a team's roster, but is there anything similar to USA softball's process in the future?  

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"The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have." Vince Lombardi
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