Are CCS Legal Fees Escalating to Protect CCS Management or Hide Serious Injuries to Young Athletes or Both?

CCS watchdog has learned that serious injury complaints and reports have been filed directly with CCS . In one case,  a young woman suffered a major concussion when a competitor from a private school “ took her out” on the sidelines during a CCS game ( in a sport that is considered low risk for contact injury). Medical reports and testimony were offered and CCS responded the incident was “unfortunate” and that the injured girl’s school had followed proper procedure related to her  head injury. However CCS failed to address the offending school. Was that because that school was a private school that had “protection “ with current CCS management?

Was public money used for legal fees when CCS drafted a letter to the family of the injured girl stating the incident was “unfortunate” ? Was public money used for legal fees to determine that despite police reports and medical bills that demonstrated bodily harm had occurred in a CCS game , that no obligation existed  to address the matter further? Does that violate personal requirements for both individuals and the organization to report the incident to legal authorities ?

Coaches who  tried to speak out and found themselves fired  or displaced are now coming forward  and providing more details  about troubling issues within  the CCS  organization and the financial exposure schools face by  allowing major issues to continue to inflict harm on young athletes.   If investigations continue to uncover that CCS has  acted  improperly on everything from managing conflicts of interest to ignoring obligations  to report physical injury of minor children, any criminal or civil charges that may be brought against the organization , or individuals within the organization, will be long overdue and more than justified.

California Court Ruling Opens the Legal Door for Harassed and Abused Athletes to Sue School Districts, CCS and the CIF .

In a  recent ruling the California Supreme Court held a school district responsible for sexual abuse of a student by one of the school’s counselors. In the court’s final ruling Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, noted that school principals and other supervisors “have the responsibility of taking reasonable measures to guard pupils against harassment and abuse from foreseeable sources” .

The lawyer for the abused student, Stuart Esner,  noted the ruling will  “allow compensation for people who are harmed and may have a side effect of increasing vigilance.”

This ruling should give school administrators and school districts reason to worry, but students and their families’ reason to celebrate. The stage is set. Finally a complete arsenal of legal definitions and precedent may be in place to give student athletes and their families relief from the harassment, bullying, sexual abuse and denied opportunities that have persisted in high school sports for far too long.

CCS watchdog has repeatedly described a long standing culture that not only provides for abuse , but consistently allows it to be  swept behind closed doors . Enough evidence exists to support that CCS officials , including school administrators , coaches and other supervisors  have had ample opportunity to know the reality of what is going on in our high school sports programs, but have failed to act.  From police and medical reports that support children have been physically abused by coaches, competitors or peers to lost opportunities based on adult mistakes or false claims, the potential legal and financial exposure to CCS and schools districts throughout California is significant.

Individual administrators, coaches, commissioners and other officials should take note as well. If these individuals act badly, act for personal gain, fail to act reasonably, are knowingly skirting the law based on bad legal advice,  they  could have  exposure  and be sued personally .  The coach who hides behind the long accepted “ it is the coach’s decision”  to harass or deny legitimate opportunities  to student athletes without further transparency, the AD who casually dismisses parent complaints  to support their coach,  the administrator who is aware of a toxic sports culture but fails to act based on other priorities  or  school board members who sweep individual cases into private settlements  or continually push these issues back down the chain of command, take note. If a toxic culture exists because the leadership provided for it, everyone in the chain may be held personally responsible, as they should.

Mr. Stuart Esner may be right; the side effect of this recent decision may be increased vigilance. And while such vigilance may ultimately improve high school athletics, it is unfortunate such change will be a result of financial and legal pressure and not because people first chose to simply do the right thing for our student athletes.