AAU announces new screening measures to prevent child sex abuse

Changes come after six-month review of policies

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ORLANDO, Fla. - Calling it a brand new day the Orlando based Amateur Athletic Union just announced a sweeping set of reforms aimed at preventing child abuse.

AAU officials say that starting in August all coaches, volunteers, and staff members will be required to undergo background checks.

The background checks will be performed by LexisNexis and will screen for a history of criminal or sex crimes convictions.

Anyone who fails the background check process will be banned from all AAU activities for life.

AAU is announcing these changes six months after the former head of AAU Bobby Dodd was accused of abusing two teenage boys. After Dodd stepped down the new president of the AAU ordered a task force to look into how the AAU could better protect children.

Today that task force released a series of more than forty recommendations. Included in those recommendations are:

  • Mandatory Background Checks
  • No one-on-one contact between athletes and coaches
  • Seperate living arraignments while on trips
  • All volunteers and staff must take classes on how to spot child abuse
  • Everyone is responsible for reporting abuse
  • More than 500,000 athletes participate in AAU activities every year

AAU officials say that while they will focus on sex abuse crimes investigators will also determine if a series of other criminal violations should disqualify someone from being involved in AAU.
Refusing to take a background test will result in a ban. The background tests will cost $2 each. That cost will be passed along to athletes who will now have to pay $16 for sports.

Copyright 2012 by ClickOrlando.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.