Penn State Sex Scandal: Highlights the Crises in Youth Coaching, According to Center for Ethical Youth Coaching

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Center for ethical youth coaching claims at-risk youth most vulnerable to abuse.

The allegations against the former defensive coordinator for the Penn State University football program brings attention again to the crises in youth coaching that plagues youth sports in the United States according to the Center for Ethical Youth Coaching (CEYC).

"This latest headline case involving a coach of both a major university and a non-affiliated youth sports program (Second Mile) encapsulates the full range of what we are trying to prevent in our organization, the Center for Ethical Youth Coaching," says Justin Mayer, the founder and president of the non-profit Center for Ethical Youth Coaching (CEYC). "This case involves a volunteer program, the alleged abuser's own Second Mile organization and a major university that prior to this was held as a standard of a clean program. We assume that such an esteemed university has a closer microscope on the coaches affiliated with their program but these independent, volunteer youth sports programs operate without the same scrutiny. We want the public and especially parents to ask: Who are these people guiding our children and youth? Are they qualified? Are they trained? Are they ethical? Have they passed a background check? Becoming certified as an ethical youth coach addresses these needs," Added Mayer, a first year law student, sports industry executive, athlete and coach.

The CEYC has developed a first of its kind certification and training program with background check for youth coaches across all sports and all genders that is aggressive in cleaning up the coaching ranks.

"When these scandals become public they smear the good work that the vast majority of youth coaches do for the lives of the young people they mentor," says Andrew Teunis, the director of development for CEYC.

"There's a lot of heavy lifting to do to clean up the coaching ranks in sports from the college level on down to pee-wee programs; but it has to start from the ground floor, that is, insisting that the adults in the lives of the young athletes are safe and ethical," says Dr. John Mayer, V.P. at CEYC.

Dr. Mayer, a clinical psychologist and nationally recognized expert on youth and families asserts that at-risk youth are the most vulnerable to predators because they often lack other adult supervision, other adult role models and they and their parents often see sports as a way to a better life; therefore, they don't question the coaches because they coaches as saviors of a sort.

The mission of the not-for-profit Center for Ethical Youth Coaching is to raise the ethical standards of coaches who work with young athletes, through research, publication, credentialing and public presentations. As a result of raising these ethical standards, young athletes will be in the best possible position to learn and grow through sports. Sports are a tremendous way to learn about life and develop life skills, it is therefore important that coaches are prepared to guide young athletes in the most ethical manner possible.


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Dr. John E. Mayer-VP
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