A: Not unless the Athletes says Ok– only in these generally accepted ways - when correcting physical form for skill or strategy execution, injured or congratulating an athlete for a good performance. Always ask the athlete first. If it does feel ok, it isn't ok.
A: Athletic teams commonly justify rituals or behaviors as rites of passage for team or group acceptance. These activities commonly make the athlete feel humiliated, embarrassed, or devalued or may even threaten the athlete’s safety or dignity. Following are examples of activities that should be classified as hazing, initiation rituals, and physical punishment and be prohibited:
The American Association of University Women released survey results revealing that during the 2010-11 school year, 48 percent of students in grades 7-12 experienced some form of sexual harassment in person or electronically via texting, email and social media. The survey asked 1,002 girls and 963 boys from public and private schools nationwide whether they had experienced any of various forms of sexual harassment including unwelcome sexual comments, being called gay or lesbian in a negative way, being touched in an unwelcome sexual way, being shown sexual pictures they didn't want to see, and being the subject of unwelcome sexual rumors. 56 percent of the girls and 40 percent of the boys said they had experienced at least one incident of sexual harassment during the school year.
In 2002, a Penn State University graduate student told the university’s head football coach, Joe Paterno, that he witnessed one of Paterno’s former assistant coaches, Jerry Sandusky, sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in the Penn State football facility’s showers. The next day, Paterno told his athletic director. Neither the athletic director nor the president of the institution, who informed of the report, contacted the state’s Department of Public Welfare as required by law. But this wasn’t the first time for Sandusky or Paterno.
Can you remember the days when you left your car parked at the curb as you walked into the airport to meet your loved one at the gate? We just walked right on in and could go anywhere we wanted with no questions asked – no ID, no X-ray machines, shoes on.
There are simply too many unsolved questions that need to be addressed before we can truly be effective in protecting young athletes from the unethical and possibly criminal actions of coaches:
GOING OUTSIDE TITLE IX TO KEEP COACH-ATHLETE RELATIONSHIPS IN BOUNDS
DEBORAH L. BRAKE*
Coach-athlete “romances” are the dirty little secrets of sport. No one wants to talk about them. Now and then, a high profile scandal rips through the headlines—as when University of North Carolina’s legendary soccer coach, Anson Dorrance, was accused of sexually harassing his players.
1 On these infrequent occasions, the glare of the media spotlight forces a brief period of introspection about the proper boundaries of the coach-athlete relationship. Even then, it is mostly the extreme allegations that garner attention—conduct clearly identifiable as sexual harassment, especially if it involves a sexual assault. In the case of Coach Dorrance, the complained-of behaviors were verbal and did not involve physical advances; 2 the notoriety of the case stemmed from the coach’s fame and track record and its addition to a small handful of reported court decisions involving coach-athlete sexual harassment in intercollegiate sports.3 Absent headline-grabbing scandals, however, coach-athlete relationships are rarely examined for their impact on womens sports and athlete well-being. This is largely because they do not come within the ambit of Title IX, which sets the agenda for conversations about gender equity in sport.
Training to be an elite athlete requires discipline and focus beyond what any of us can imagine if we haven’t had such experience ourselves. Parents must bring that same discipline and focus to child/athlete protection and be committed to ensuring a safe and positive environment sports environment.
Taking short cuts is intentionally skipping a responsibility in the hope that no one will notice or someone else will do it. An athlete knows that skipping a work-out or eliminating ten more repetitions at practice is the difference between winning and losing. When the well being of our children is at stake, short-cuts simply cannot be acceptable.
Taking short cuts in practice is often frowned upon by teammates. If team members have to do an entire workout to the best of their ability, then every team member commits to achieving this goal. The pressure around teams to be individually accountable is so strong it’s at the heart of the sport and the basis of the sport work ethic. As long this pressure on each other stays within safe and positive and doesn’t extend it’s self into bullying (more on that issue at www.safe4athletes.org), the result is impressive. Similarly, parents need to pressure each other to be concerned about issues of athlete welfare.