Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Monday, January 17, 2005

Over the weekend, the Albuquerque Tribune finished its series on sexual misconduct by male coaches in girls' sports. This excellent series by reporter Jeremy Fowler deserves a read. Here are all of the articles:

"Crossing the line: A tainted record"
"Crossing the line: Blank checks"
"Summer ball adds risk to girls, some say"
"Crossing the line: Shades of gray"
"Coaches more cautious about interaction with players"

All of these are worth reading -- they show different aspects of the problem and point toward some solutions. There are a couple of points from the articles that are worth emphasizing.

First, there are particular risk with summer programs like AAU because they often involve long road trips and because the coaches are subject to less institutional control.

Second, when it comes to relationships between adult male coaches and girl athletes, there are gray areas and borderline cases. It is therefore imperative that schools and summer programs alike develop clear, bright-line rules defining what is acceptable and what is not. Of course, we can't write a rule in advance to cover every situation. But we can do more. AAU's current sexual misconduct policies, for example, appear to be hopelessly vague and woefully insufficient.