AAU Instituting Mandatory Screening

So my posting has not been very frequent since I “came back.” I’m working on it. I have a couple of political posts up at the Washington Monthly blog so I haven’t made it over here yet. I’m hoping to include some more political blogs on this site as well and may refine the look of it when I get a chance as well. Onward:

The AAU announced recently that they will start conducting strict background checks on everyone involved with the AAU circuit:

AAU president Louis Stout said Tuesday during a news conference at the organization’s national office the screening of more than 100,000 adults who work with youth athletes coincides with the new membership cycle. No one will be exempt from the screening and any questionable information it turns up could disqualify people from participation in AAU programs.

With everything that has happened in the sports world over the past year (Jerry Sandusky, Bernie Fine, etc), AAU took a big step forward to stop any potential sexual abuse and molestation. It needed to happen and is a good thing it did.

I never played AAU basketball when I was younger, but I had plenty of other coaches on various other teams. My dad coached me a lot. My friends’ dads coached me a lot. And then there were a couple of random people who would coach me. Much of the media says that kids are clueless about this, but when I was young, I was always confused when there was a very random person coaching me. Maybe that was because I was lucky enough to have my dad/friends’ dads coach me so often that a random person felt strange just because he was random. But I think kids do notice more than people think.

And that’s not to say random people are not great coaches. But it’s much more comfortable for parents and kids alike to personally know the coach and know that his/her son/daughter is also on the team. But everyone is going to feel a lot better knowing that everyone associated with AAU is going through required screenings. If I were a parent, I’d certainly willing to pay an extra fee to make this happen (though I’m not sure that is even the case). Safety is priority number one and this new policy is an excellent move the the AAU.