Sports Law • Risk Management

coaches

No Love for Sexual Misconduct

Colby College just finished its investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct committed by fifteen of its students. Although for privacy reasons Colby College has disclosed little information, according to The Colby Echo’s article on February 8th, it is believed that football players were spying through a window to watch their teammate receive oral sex from a female student. Although the act of voyeurism did not amount to any criminal charges, the college concluded that the school’s sexual misconduct policy was violated.

September 29, 2010: Triathlon Risk Management: Part II---Cycling

While chatting with JJ Johnson, a certified USAT coach at Starbuck’s yesterday, I introduced him to our website and we discussed safety issues in sports. Since I’m the Regional Officials Coordinator for USAT for Hawaii, JJ often asks me about issues relating to the USAT Competitive Rules. We discussed our amazement that so many triathletes claim that they do not know or understand the rules. This seems absurd as athletes in every other sport---football, basketball, baseball, golf, and tennis---seem to be well aware of their sport’s rules. Why should triathlon be any different?

September 24, 2010: Overtraining Symptoms and Prevention

Overtraining is a common problem with too many coaches and athletes failing to recognize symptoms of an overtrained athlete: fatigue, insomnia, incomplete workouts, illness, decline in performance, pain or soreness, decreased appetite and irritability. Rest from physiological and psychological demands of training is important to an athlete’s performance.

September 23, 2010: Concussion Discussion in Congress Ramps Up

While creating guidelines to help coaches and parents identify when it is safe for a concussed minor child to return to sports; there is potential harm to coaches and sport organizations. Two federal House committees are each working on a federal bill to propose legislation to protect youth from the harms of concussions. One bill is intended to gather experts to draft guidelines on how to manage concussions then dangle a carrot of incentive by offering federal grants to states to establish standards. The other bill would mandate public school districts adopt or adhere to certain standards.

August 31, 2010: Withholding Water as Punishment

Just yesterday I was told a surprising story by a woman recalling a childhood experience with a former coach. Her coach tried an unusual tactic to motivate athletes: if an athlete failed to perform, the coach would dump some of the contents from an athlete's water bottle. Thus, as punishment, the coach took away water, a critical element for an athlete's health and overall performance.

July 12, 2010: TITLE IX: Check With Legal Counsel Before Altering College Sports Programs

Prior to cutting college sports programs or its coaches, consult legal counsel. This seems like a simple concept, but Diablo Valley College still managed to get itself into hot water. When the college tried to eliminate funding for several men’s and women’s sports teams, it triggered a gender equality Title IX compliance investigation by the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”). Early on the college succumbed to the pressure and reinstated the sports teams, but refused to rehire the coaches who made the complaint to the OCR.