Does CCS allow an abusive culture in high school sports similar to the culture found at Penn State and Syracuse?

How many more people will come forward? Once it starts, the tide may change. We hope the media holds on and rides this one as it is far more important than Ashton  and Demi .

Conversations are  changing in college athletic programs across the country. Universities and coaches who have created a toxic culture for generations are starting to realize the school’s reputation is far more valuable than the income earned by a successful football program. Sadly it may be money that drives the issue, but at least it will be driven.  Schools that  have insisted for years that students don’t cheat , have been cheating our students. Where else in society do we see a person strike another, abuse a minor or make false statements to damage our youth and we say nothing?  The culture is toxic ,  tolerated and perpetuated by  adults failing to act in the best interest of our youth.   Laws, rules and government will not change things for the better; people will.

We have been contacted by a member of the public seeking to report  abuse and misconduct involving minor children competing   in high school  sports programs here in the Central Coast Section. CCS was asked how a complaint could be filed. The CIF/CCS website offered few options other than for  Title IX or Civil Rights violation. It is known that CCS has had an opportunity to take other action against individuals at the center of the complaint, but failed to do so in the past. The policies online were  incomplete and failed to address specifics like how to file a complaint, what is the policy to deal with a complaint and how is retaliation prevented and a neutral process assured? What policy assures a  complaint reaches the entire governing body and is not gate kept by those who may  be involved or have failed to act in the past? Public high schools have an obligation to report-  what is CCS’s legal and moral obligation? What is the standard policy of CCS officials when a complaint is filed or knowledge of misconduct  becomes known.? The same questions were asked when the Penn State issues emerged.  It was hoped that in asking questions now, action would be taken to  prevent or stop a system that by nature creates an environment where abuse can take place off radar and is in fact tolerated by adults who continually fail to act or act badly.

First CCS hired lawyers to object to requests citing various reasons.  Member schools will pay for the legal fees CCS committed just to respond.  No formal policy to file the complaint was offered, nor appears to exist.   When pressed, CCS responded a complaint could be mailed to  a single individual within CCS who would decide what to do with the information. When it was communicated that the individual was too close to officials involved in the  complaint  and a solution for a more objective solution  and broader communication with the  governing board was requested.  A request for the policy that directs how documents are changed and the changes noted are visible based on conflicting documents that were observed for CCS Championships. Also a CIF Policy book and CCS policies were requested as provided by law and stated on the CIF website can be made available by written request. The response to the written request  was given by the CCS commissioner on 11/18/11:

“Every single policy link in the CCS web site works, I just checked them again. If you are talking about the CIF web site, the CCS has nothing to do with that. We have never altered a document unless a change has been made by the board of managers or if there was an error.

All our policies and bylaws are the ones on the web site. I have no idea what else you are talking about, nor do I have time to continue to respond to broad based requests that make no sense.

We have provided you with the complaint process. You do not like it. Just send whatever you believe you need to complain about to whomever you like. Our entire list of schools is on the web site. They ARE the CCS as this is a membership organization of schools. Send it to the CCS Board of Managers, Send it to whomever you like Mr. *********. We have nothing to hide.

Your slanderous comments about me and my staff are unfounded and offensive. Get on with it man…Make your complaint…Send it to whomever you like or move on.”

If this is how Penn State victims were treated, no wonder they never came forward!  Is this how we want CCS managed? Did she say “unless there was an error”? Not sure we see her dismiss errors made by others as easily as she insists her errors be  dismissed .  We will continue to prepare statements for the Board of Managers and hope individuals will come forward if abuse or misconduct is taking place.

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About ccswatchdog
Grassroots organization providing information to ensure fairness, transparency and accountability of CIF's Central Coast Section.

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