I usually do not comment on current events, but my thoughts turn to the nightmare scenarios we are hearing concerning the sexual abuse allegations against college coaches. When the victims are kids, any abuse seems worse to
me. Intentionally doing lasting physical or mental harm to a child is beyond despicable. We, who deal with youth sports, must look after the kids.
Coaches have a special responsibility to protect the children they work with. Parents trust their most precious possession, their child, to us and we are honor bound to help kids, not take advantage of them. Sometimes, we are lucky enough to be considered “second parents” to our players. That speaks of healthy love and respect. Whatever our relationship is with players, we must behave as most medical professionals are charged: “do no harm.”
When I speak to groups of interscholastic coaches, the administrators always want me to stress the moral and ethical aspects of a coach’s job. Not everyone understands that the personal relationships between coaches and players must remain on a professional level. If you ask a young man why he wants to coach football and his answer is, “to get a chance to date a cheerleader,” the warning siren is activated.