There have been many high-profile sexual abuse cases rocking the sports world over the past few months. Now, the nation's oldest athletic youth organization is putting new policies in place to better protect kids. Christian Farrell has more on the changes.
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MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. - Bobby Rahn has been an AAU coach for more than a decade. The BC Eagles basketball program he helps run has a staff of 30 coaches. All he said who have been checked out thoroughly. Rahn said that's just how he does business.
"It's something we've done in the past with background checks and things like that," said Rahn.
On Tuesday, officials with the Amateur Athletic Union announced they're tightening their own safety measures and are adopting Rahn's practice. All coaches and volunteers must now undergo mandatory background screenings. It's a policy the organization hadn't required.
The decision comes after the AAU concluded a six month investigation looking into safeguarding children participating in amateur sports.
"At the end of the day, what we do, we do it for the kids. So, anything to keep them safe no matter what procedure we have to go through. I think in the long run it's better to be safe than sorry," said Rahn.
That's especially true regarding an additional change in policy prohibiting one-on-one contact between adults and youth. It's a move aimed at protecting both parties.
Last year, a charge surfaced against former AAU president Bobby Dodd. Dodd was named in a sexual abuse case occurring decades ago. He has not been charged with any crime to this point.
"I think its good to just have somebody there, so you know they have your back at the same time in case something did come up. I think it's beneficial for the kids for other reasons to have two adults in the gym," said Rahn.
The new policies will be put into place on September 1st.