Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Dec. 15, 2018 — Work to do

A couple of days ago, USA Today published a large multimedia story detailing the fact that there were, and are, significant gaps in the banning of coaches who prey on young people.

Part of the narrative of this story, as well as others written on the same subject, remains the same: the rules surrounding background checks are such that potential predators can drive a truck through them.

In the original Sports Illustrated story from the 1990s, the one baseball coach who was the center of the narrative would simply go from small town to small town, coaching a new team every year, disappearing quietly when his indiscretions were evident.

It was much the same when it came to former U.S. international field hockey player Todd Broxmeyer, who rarely stayed in one town or at one job for more than a year over his peripatetic existence. He seemingly changed jobs as if to keep one step ahead of scrutiny — or the law.

Broxmeyer is one of four people who currently appear on USA Field Hockey’s SafeSport banned list. But missing from that list are any of the other half-dozen or so people who were arrested and/or convicted on morals charges the last decade. This includes organizers, coaches, and even one field hockey writer.

The USA Today story does make a point that became painfully obvious in the past decade: it is still just as easy now as it was a decade ago for someone to masquerade as a field hockey coach simply by buying a membership in the National Federation or the NFHCA, or creating a fancy logo on the Internet and luring teams to a field hockey showcase, or leveraging an out-of-state teaching certificate into a coaching position in another state.

These loopholes have parallels in the greater society. More on that tomorrow.


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