THE COACH AND CHILD / YOUTH ATHLETE LEGAL RELATIONSHIP

First posted June 17, 2012. Edited and re-posted August 23, 2018

“As sport is a highly child-populated domain, the establishment of child-protection measures to reduce the potential for child (<18) and youth (18-24) maltreatment in sport is critical.”

“The “law of sports medicine” is a rapidly developing field that is establishing an important body of jurisprudence defining the legal rights and duties of all parties concerned with protecting the health and safety of athletes. The law is drawing important distinctions between the relevant duty of care owed to high school, college, and professional athletes because of the differing legal relationships that arise out of athletic participation at different levels of competition. It is important to identify and synthesize these developing legal trends in order to understand the history of the “law of sports medicine,” to predict its future direction, and to critique its evolution. [Mitten, Matthew J. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, and Director, National Sports Law Institute, Marquette University Law School. “Emerging Legal Issues in Sports Medicine: A Synthesis, Summary, and Analysis,” St. John’s Law Review: Vol. 76: Iss. 1, Article 2 (2012)]

“Concern for the protection of children and youth  in sport has a history that is as old as modern sport itself; however, it is only recently that concern has been established about their experiences and relational forms of abuse and neglect in this domain.” [Child Protection in Sport: Implications of an Athlete Centered Philosophy, Gretchen A. Kerr, Ashley E. Stirling, Quest, v60 n2 p307-323 May 2008]

Ancient Olympic Athletes certainly were not victims of Athlete Abuse. They were protected and revered not maltreated. Ancient Olympic Athletes were not vulnerable.

Today’s NBA Stars are well treated and not abused by Coaches and other members of the Athletic Community, because they are not vulnerable. Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome does not apply to Professional Adult Athletes.

Similar to Ancient Olympic Athletes prestige, they have the wealth and power to reject maltreatment.

The Grecian Olympic Athletic Ideal is contrasted to the Ancient Roman Gladiators. See the following.

“Life was cheap during Roman times, and no one knew that better than gladiators – men pitted against one another in fights to the death for the viewing pleasure of both society’s elite and the masses.

Since Roman times gladiators and athletes have fought to the death and competed to the bitter end for societies’ elite and the fans.

Gladiators in ancient times lived and died by the impulses and fancies of their more powerful leaders. Even when they were victorious on the battlefield, all they won was the chance to fight and hopefully survive for another day.

Some Athletes today face the same predicament. [NCAA Sacked with Lawsuit Aligning conspiracy and Ant-Competitive Scholarship Practices, Steve Berman, Oct 26, 2010 Seattle PI] [http://www.cappaa.com/index.php?s=Gladiators]

“It is the reporter’s supposition, following research, that an athlete-centered philosophy of sport is perhaps the best way to address the protection of children and youth in Sport, Recreation and Exercise (SRE).

The philosophy of an athlete-centered sport model is described herein, and through the integration of an athlete-centered approach to sport, recommendations are made for future implementation of child-protection measures. [Child Protection in Sport: Implications of an Athlete Centered Philosophy, Gretchen A. Kerr, Ashley E. Stirling, Quest, v60 n2 p307-323 May 2008]

What are the “philosophical issues about both the nature of coach-athlete relationships and our understanding of what constitutes virtuous behaviours in these relationships”?

This reporter argues that sporting organizations should treat child and youth physical, psychological, endangerment, neglect, sexual abuse and human rights violations as partly facilitated by the structure and traditions of this relationship, and should endeavor to intervene by creating relationships between athletes and coaches that are less likely to lead to exploitative practices.

This understanding of the issue offers a challenge to the historical/sociological ‘objectivity’ suggested in the use of MacIntyrian ethical theories.

Humans can’t have consensual sex when one of the parties has an ‘authority position’. “Whilst it would be reasonable to suggest that some of the Athletes ‘carried-on’ with Coaches without objection, that hardly means these were willing relationships.” [Sex Abuse a Dirty Secret in Olympic Sports, Salt Lake City Tribune]  [Obeying until it hurts: coach-athlete relationships. Burke, M., Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 2001 Vol. 28 No. 2 pp. 227-240]

Child Protection in Sports, Recreation and Exercise, a Child Athlete Centered System and the Coach-Child Athlete Relationship are dependent on making “crystal clear” the complete role of the Coach in SRE.

The complete Role of the Coach has been enacted in Child Protection Law for Children, but is not presently “crystal clear” Public Policy.

There are “High-n-Mighties” in the Hierarchy of Sports, Recreation and Exercise (SRE) Safety Responsibility, who believe they are immune from Civil snd Criminal liability. For some it is true for civil. These “High-n-Mighties” deliberately:

-Further closed SRE societies
-Protect their bottom lines
-Advance the Code of Silence
-Promote “win-at-all-costs”.
-Foster SRE “Nations Unto Their Own” (Condaleeza Rice) that are want-to-be impervious to outside interference.

Those proponents expose the Child Athlete to Endangerment and Abuse and the Coach to Criminal and Civil Liability for the sake of SRE.

The Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky Child Sexual Abuse tragedy is a case on point.

“During the span of 13 years, more than 24 men and women — some in high positions, others in menial jobs — learned of the heinous crimes committed by the former defensive coordinator of Penn State’s football team.

“Sandusky was found guilty of sexually abusing 10 boys and was convicted on 45 of 48 charges — but not before he destroyed lives.

The roll call of these adults underscores one of the most baffling elements of this sweeping crime: the culture of silence.”

“CNN reported that Spanier, Curley, and Schultz discussed and later rejected plans to alert authorities after learning that Sandusky was in the shower with a boy.

“Citing emails from 2001, CNN reported that Curley wrote that he changed his mind about alerting authorities after speaking with Paterno. The others concurred.

“Sometimes sin of omission is greater than sin of commission,” Art Baselice said.
[Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State: The culture of silence, Sunday, July 01, 2012, By IVEY DEJESUS, The Patriot-News]

Parents and Guardians leave their Child Athletes in the Custody and Control of Amateur School and Non-School Coaches after they have signed or given verbal agreements for Permission to Participate in SRE, camps. overnighters, travels, trips etc.

High profile SRE programs and highly respected Coaches are like chocolate ice cream bars attracting Children, their parents and guardians, into the web of sport dreams, sideli ne and press box visits, free tickets and game trips and other enticements, when the Coach has a nefarious agenda.

An extremely sad commentary: everyone must Beware the Sexual Predator in SRE. “The bird has a nest, spider a web, man a friendship.” [William Blake] The Coach-Child Athlete relationship might not be safe like home.

But, during participation in SRE and other activities, the Coach has the duty of Care and complete Welfare for the Child and Child Athlete.

A Power-Gap between the Coach and the Child Athlete is immediately established. as it should be. The Coach is in charge.

Child and Youth Athletes are vulnerable and susceptible to Abnormal Coaching Behaviors. there are some special circumstances and situations.

  • “Athletes have many caretakers such as trainers, coaches, counselors, and team doctors.”
  • Sports caregivers must take affirmative steps that better protect Athletes from harm and caregivers from legal liability.
  • “Athletic care starts with a history, pre-participation examination and an understanding and use of current recommendations and protocols as they relate to athletic care to avoid litigation
  • An emergency action plan, proactive planning, roadmap to coordinate emergency care is additional proper Athlete care. [Kane SM, White RA. Medical Malpractice and the Sports Medicine Clinician. Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research. 2009;467(2):412-419]
  • Coaches may be in a position of greater opportunity for malbehavior than other trusted members of society.
  • Coaches are themselves vulnerable to be Blind-Sided with criminal and civil litigation
  • Female Athletes may be in a position of sexual exploitation more than male Athletes, because their timidity, reluctance to speak-up, ‘aim to please’ and men have have traditionally been authoritative.
  • Football Athletes may be in greater position of physical abuse because boys are taught not to cry, football is a ‘rough and tough’ sport, machoism has been long-established and there is a power gap, aka Zabernism.

Coaches themselves are in a vulnerable position. they are apt to be Blind-Sided with Criminal Charges, because of ignorance of the law. An aim of this reporter is to prevent Blind-Siding Coaches.

  • If Coaches, Teachers, Priests, Scout Leaders, Doctors, Parents and others don’t understand their legal relationship with Children and Youth,
  • whom they supervise, have care, welfare, responsibility,
  • they might be BLIND-SIDED with criminal charges and/or civil suit
  • if they endanger, maltreat, neglect and/or abuse
  • causing/allowing to be caused serious morbidity (disease, injury) and/or mortality (death).
  • No school, association, league, sport, religion, licensure board, parent/guardian title can shield and protect them

The Permission to Participate Agreement does not grant a Problematic Coach, if his/her abnormal behavior is unbeknownst by the Parent or Guardian up front, the freedom to exploit that Power Gap and Maltreat and Abuse the Child and Youth Athlete. Permissions to participate are signed by parent, guardian and Athletes for SRE Participations conducted with the Standard of Care.

Everyone knows SRE accidents happen, while playing by the rules of the game, in safe SRE environments, with proper athlete protection, coaching supervision, conduct and standard of care. Serious Injuries and Deaths that occur during blameless circumstances are Inherent and Natural to the game that athletes play. They are called Accidental and Not-Preventable. An aggressive clean football tackle that fractures an arm is an Accident and Not Preventable.

Conversely, Preventable, Not Accidental Injuries and Deaths occur at a rate of approximately 50%. For example, hundreds of push-ups as punishment that causes serious shoulder injury requiring surgery, which are Preventable and Not Accidental and is Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome (CAAS).

Preventable, Not Accidental Injuries and Deaths of SRE Children (<18) Athletes are secondary to severe punishments, injury mismanagements, such as concussion, over-use exercise, physical assaults and participation during severe weather conditions i.e. dangerous heat index, poor air quality and electrical storms; to name a few.

Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome is a Short Title for a Clustering of Child (<18) or Youth (15-18) Athlete Serious Injury, Disease and/or Death secondary to:

► Physical endangerment, maltreatment and/or abuse

► Psychological (Emotional) endangerment, maltreatment and/or abuse

► Sexual Abuse

► Failed child custodial protection

► Negligent care giving supervision

► Human rights violations

► That were inflicted, caused, created, or allowed to be inflicted, caused, created, directly or indirectly by the Problematic Coach, including the Strength Training, Conditioning and other specialty Coach, Problematic Parent or other Problematic Caretaker Person who has Child and Youth Athlete custodial protection, supervision, care and control during Sports, Recreation and Exercise Participation

► Failure to report the morbidity and mortality to Authorities is Illegal. [1.] [6.]

► In most United States, Children are minors when less than 18 years of age.

► Youth are 18-24 years of age.

► The United Nations define Youth as persons between the ages of 15-24. Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome and Cruelty to Children in Sports, Recreation and Exercise (SRE) should be matters of importance to Doctors and Health Care Personnel. Youth is not interchangeable with Child.

Morbidity and Mortality should summons all Doctors and Health Care Personnel into action for the Awareness and Prevention of these Child Athlete Preventable, Not-Accidental morbidity and moralities.

School and Non-School Amateur Child SRE Coaches are “Temporary Substitute Caretakers” (TSC) in the eyes of the Public Law 111-320, Child Abuse Prevention Treatment and Reauthorization Act 2010 and in the eyes of the U.S. Surgeon General and some states Department of Community Based Services (DCBS) and Child Protection Services (CPS).

School and Non-School Amateur Youth SRE Coaches are “Temporary Substitute Caretakers” (TSC) in the eyes of new Case Law.

However, the Coach’s Role of Temporary Substitute Caretaker is not “crystal clear” public policy and not “crystal clear” in the language of the Law. It has not been heard, reported and promulgated to the ears of doctors, all public citizens, Coaches, parents and Child Athletes appropriately. Mainly Legal Scholars know. Case Law is catching on.

Many Youth, College and Olympic Athletes today face the same predicament as Gladiators. They are not like their Ancient Olympic counterparts. [NCAA Sacked with Lawsuit Aligning conspiracy and Ant-Competitive Scholarship Practices, Steve Berman, Oct 26, 2010 Seattle PI]

“A fiduciary duty (from Latin fiduciarius, meaning “(holding) in trust”; from fides, meaning “faith”, and fiducia, meaning “trust”) is a legal or ethical relationship of confidence or trust regarding the management of money or property between two or more parties, most commonly a fiduciary and a principal.”

  • “In a fiduciary relation one person, in a position of vulnerability, justifiably places confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice or protection is sought in some matter. In such a relation good conscience requires one to act at all times for the sole benefit and interests of another, with loyalty to those interests,” the best interest at heart of the other person.
  • “A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence. —Bristol & West Building Society v Mothew [1998] Ch 1 at 18 per Lord Millett
  • “A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care at either equity or law. A fiduciary (abbreviation fid) is expected to be extremely loyal to the person to whom he owes the duty (the “principal.”
  • “A fiduciary must not put his personal interests before the duty ato the principal and must not profit from his position as a fiduciary. Otherwise there might result a breach of that fiduciary duty.
  • A fiduciary relationship is “one founded on trust or confidence reposed by one person in the integrity and fidelity of another.” A fiduciary has a duty to act primarily for the client’s benefit in matters connected with the undertaking and not for the fiduciary’s own personal interest. [Wikipedia]
  • “Scrupulous good faith and candor are always required. Fiduciaries must always act in complete fairness and may not ever exert any influence or pressure, take selfish advantage, or deal with the client in such a way that it benefits themselves or prejudices the client.” [Black’s Law Dictionary]

Youth Athletes are defined by the United Nations General Assembly as Athletes who are age 15 to 24. This group includes some High School, Elite, Olympic and College and University Athletes.

Youth Athletes are extremely reliant on universities, colleges, Olympic and other officials and Coaches. There is a Fiduciary Relationship and a Power Gap between those in charge and the Youth Athlete. Those in charge of Youth Athletes are in Power.

If all Student-Athletes sincerely wanted and played for education and love of the game and all Elite and Olympic Athletes participated for love of the game, the Fiduciary Duties and Power Gap would be lessened. Youth Athletes would be less Vulnerable Student Athletes and Olympians.

College Football, College Basketball and Olympic Athletes are the most Vulnerable of all Athletes. They are the most dependent on the Fiduciary Duties and most susceptible and defenseless in the Power Gap.

These Athletes are greatly reliant on extremely powerful, highly compensated Coaches and Others. Coaches of these Athletes are particularly powerful.

Often Admissions departments of schools have lower admission standards for Athletes than other students making them a more vulnerable group to Power and Fiduciary Duties than the mainstream class of students. For instance at “Duke, a school that prides itself on high academic standards for its athletes, scholarship athletes nevertheless maintain an average SAT score 400 points below regular students.”

“Many big-time collegiate Athletes, sadly, are simply not on par intellectually with their student peers.”

The socio-economic background of many Division I Football and Basketball Athletes increases their vulnerability. 11% (1/9) black male students at Division I Schools is a Scholarship-Athlete, compared to 2% (1/50) white male students.

Numerous Athletes believe that sports participation is a means of escaping poverty. “44% of black college athletes expect to play professionally.” However, less than 2% (2/100) of NCAA Division I men’s football and basketball players actually play professionally.

It is different for Student-Athletes who actually want an education. For this group, Coaches advertise a free education, a quality education and tools to succeed in life. This Student-Athlete is less susceptible to vulnerability. The Ivy League in the U.S. is an example.

The employer-employee relationship, concluded by analysis of applicable fiduciary duties, is the postulation. While the duties owed in an employer-employee relationship are typically set forth in contracts, a fiduciary duty analysis or the arrangement is appropriate if the employer is disproportionately powerful and reduces the employee to a lop-sided vulnerability and exploitation of the employee occurs. Exploitation in that regard gives rise to breaches such as disloyalty, failure to exercise due care and protection, commercialism and even fraud.

The Coach-Athlete relationship in some instances ascends to an Employer-Employee relationship after analysis of Fiduciary Duties.

When the pretense of an education is removed the relationship between Coach and Athlete is apparent. The Athlete is vulnerable. Coaches and schools pay athletes by giving them scholarships in exchange for athletic performance which generates school revenue, the almighty bottom line. Athlete Safety and Protection are potentially neglected, Athletes are perhaps Maltreated, Endangered, Harmed and Abused. Human and Civil Rights are possibly violated.

New case law. “The Relationship Between a Collegiate Student-Athlete and the University”…… “is a Special Relationship, A Duty of Care.”

“The contractual relationship has been well established for decades, as courts have consistently found that when a student-athlete enters into a contractual relationship with the university that they attend, they are provided with an athletic scholarship in the form of a grant-in-aid that supports tuition, room and board, and books, in exchange for the athlete’s promise to remain eligible to participate in athletics. However, in addition to this basic contractual relationship, there are many other facets of the relationship between a student-athlete and their college or university.

“The discussion between participation privilege, right, and allegations of negligence continues as other courts have made clear that universities do enter into more than just a contractual relationship, especially in relation to their recruited student-athletes. Since the early 1990s courts have found that a special relationship exists between a college and a recruited student-athlete based on the nature of the college’s efforts in bringing that specific student to campus with a promise to provide him or her with an athletic scholarship.

“Although some courts have not agreed that there is this special relationship between a university and a recruited student-athlete leading to a duty of care,18 the majority of courts have found that this special relationship leads to a duty for schools to give adequate instruction in athletic activity, supply proper equipment, make a reasonable selection or matching of participants, provide non-negligent supervision of the particular contest, and take proper post-injury procedures to protect against aggravation of the injury.

“In 1996, the court agreed with the university and found that based on the special relationship between Knapp and Northwestern, the university had a duty of care to protect him and other student-athletes when the chances of harm are reasonably evident.” 20

  • 1. National Collegiate Athletic Association, Membership, http://www.ncaa.org/about/who-weare/membership
  • 2. NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, 2015-2016 NCAA DIVISION I MANUAL art.
  • 1.3 (effective Oct. 1, 2015).
  • 15. Barbara Osborne, The Myth of the Exploited Student-Athlete, 7 J. INTERCOLLEGIATE SPORT 143, 145 (2014).
  • 16. Kleinknecht v. Gettysburg Coll., 989 F.2d 1360 (3rd Cir. 1993).
  • 18. Orr v. Brigham Young Univ., 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 6083 (10th Cir. 1997). EPSTEIN_ANDERSON FINAL (DO NOT DELETE) 6/15/2016 4:44 PM 2016] STUDENT-ATHLETE & COLLEGE RELATIONSHIP 291
  • * J.D., M.B.A., Professor of Legal Studies, Department of Finance and Law, Central Michigan University. ** B.A. Philosophy and Economics, 1991, J.D. 1995, Marquette University. Director, and Adjunct Professor, Sports Law program and National Sports Law Institute of Marquette University Law School. Professor Anderson has taught courses on amateur athletics and specifically collegiate athletics for the past two decades. 1. National Collegiate Athletic Association, Membership, http://www.ncaa.org/about/who-weare/membership
  • 14. Id. at 1–2. 15. Barbara Osborne, The Myth of the Exploited Student-Athlete, 7 J. INTERCOLLEGIATE SPORT 143, 145 (2014). 16. Kleinknecht v. Gettysburg Coll., 989 F.2d 1360 (3rd Cir. 1993). 17. Id. at 1372. 18. Orr v. Brigham Young Univ., 1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 6083 (10th Cir. 1997).
  • 19. Knapp v. Northwestern Univ., 101 F.3d 473 (7th Cir. 1996)..
  • 72. See for example, In Re: NCAA Grant-in-Aid Cap Antitrust Litigation, Second Amended Complaint and Class Action Seeking Injunction, 14-cv-02758-CW (N.D. Cal. 2015).
  • [Adam Epstein and Paul M. Anderson, The Relationship Between a Collegiate Student-Athlete and the University: An Historical and Legal Perspective, 26 Marq. Sports L. Rev. 287 (2016) Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/sportslaw/vol26/iss2/3]

The following bullets are the application of  Knapp vs Northwestern, United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.Nicholas KNAPP, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation, and Rick Taylor, Defendants-Appellants No. 96-3450. Decided: November 22, 1996 to Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome.

  • Preventable, Not-Accidental, Unacceptable, greater genuine substantial Risks, Harm, Morbidity and Mortality
  • to Child (<18) / Youth (15-24) Amateur Athletes / Participants in Sport, Recreation, Exercise
  • at all school and non-school, organizational, institutional levels of instruction and/or education
  • Directly and/or Indirectly Caused, Allowed to be Caused, by Temporary Substitute Caretakers,
  • defined by the following ICD-10 examples: YO7.53 Coaches, Teachers, Instructors, YO7.59 Doctors, YO7.1 Parents
  • derived from excessive, unreasonable, cruel Punishments
  • Required excessive, unreasonable, cruel Physical intensity and overuse exercise
  • Psychological excessive, unreasonable, cruel Anxiety and Stress
  • Adverse environmental practice and play circumstances
  • Defective equipment
  • Inadequate and improper instruction
  • Negligence
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Human rights violations
  • Failed Duty of Care
  • than the level of harm and risks within the rules of the game played and encountered by other similar Athletes and Participants
  • opinioned  by the Supreme Court:  “otherwise qualified” inquiry must be individualized and should include….“․ facts, based on reasonable medical judgments given the state of medical knowledge, about(a) the nature of the risk ․, (b) the duration of the risk ․, [and] (c) the severity of the risk․”In making these findings, the courts normally should defer to the reasonable medical judgments of public health officials. [Arline, 480 U.S. at 287-88, 107 S.Ct. at 1130-31.]
  • “Other impairments usually do not have as severe a result as is possible in this case.
  • 45 C.F.R. pt. 84, app. A, subpt. A(5);  34 C.F.R. pt. 104, app. A, subpt. A(5). Although blanket exclusions are generally unacceptable, legitimate physical requirements are proper. See Southeastern, 442 U.S. at 407, 99 S.Ct. at 2367;  Davis v. Meese, 692 F.Supp. 505, 517 (E.D.Pa.1988), aff’d, 865 F.2d 592 (3d Cir.1989).”

Child Athlete Abuse Syndrome is Forensic Medicine business dependent on the “current state of medical knowledge, about(a) the nature of the risk ․, (b) the duration of the risk ․, [and] (c) the severity of the risk․ In making these findings, the courts normally should defer to the reasonable medical judgments of public health officials.”

Doctors Responsibility in Sports, Recreation and Exercise (SRE):

  • Athlete Morbidity and Mortality are Doctors and Health Care Personnel’s Forensic Medical business.
  • Doctors and Health Care Personnel:
  • Perform pre-participation examinations, without which Athletes do not participate in SRE      [Sports pre-participation physical examination [PPE]) is a clinical examination used to evaluate athletes for injuries, illnesses, or other conditions that might increase the risk of harm to themselves or others when participating in sports. [Am Med Soc for Sport Med, https://www.amssm.org/PPEMono.php  PPE used to evaluate the suitability of athletes to participate in a particular athletic endeavor. A PPE is a legal or administrative, league, association, federation requirement for many competitive athletes in the US]
  • Treat injured athletes and clear them to re-participate, or they don’t legally play [NCAA, Return to Participation Considerations Following Sport Injury by James A. Onate, Ph.D., ATC, and John Black, J.D. on November 10, 2015 NFHS]
  • Respond to epidemics and reckless coaching behaviors, endangerment, maltreatment injuries and deaths with research and education
  • Render Expert Medical Testimony as the Treating Doctor Witness for the injured Athlete, during trial, regarding the facts and cause of an injury and death
  • Render Expert Medical Testimony regarding the facts and cause of an injury and death as an
  • Expert Non-Treating Doctor Witness during trial [Juries and Expert Evidence, Neil Bidmar and Shari Seidman Diamond, Duke Law Scholarship]
  • Mandated to report “all forms” of Child Abuse including Child Athlete Abuse following examination and treatment. [Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau]
  • Abide by HIPAA, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Pub.Law 104-191. The Act consists of five Titles. HIPAA Privacy Rule is composed of national regulations for the use and disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) in healthcare treatment, payment and operations by covered entities. [Legal and Policy Provisions for Healthcare Data Security, 9/5/2018]

“Research has shown that “Jurors appear motivated to critically assess the content of the expert’s testimony and weigh it in the context of the other trial evidence, as they are instructed to do. They appear to understand the nature of the adversary process, at least in the context of the specific trial. The deliberation process appears to result in closer examination of diverging views and understandings as the legal system assumes it does.””Studies showed a high level of agreement between judges in a bench trial versus jury in a jury trial and expert testimony.”

“Juries reach the right decisions from the totality of evidence, including expert evidence.”…. Expert testimony is only one part of the evidence.”  [Juries and Expert Evidence, Neil Bidmar and Shari Seidman Diamond, Duke Law Scholarship]

The following is the first use of the accurate terms of the Coach-Child Relationship to this reporter’s knowledge, researched many years:

Thursday, August 2, 2012 is the date of a preliminary hearing in a Fairfax County, Virginia, criminal court for COACH Noah Rucker, Curl-Burke Swim Club, who is accused of three felony counts of indecent liberties with a CHILD while in a CUSTODIAL, SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP.

The charges stem from Rucker’s alleged sex acts 11 years ago with a high school swimmer he was coaching. [Irvin Muchnick Published July 31st, 2012, Concussions.com]

Education, awareness and enforcing the Coach ‘Temporary Substitute Caretakers’ role are the simple solutions to nearly 50% of the complex SRE child athlete injury risk management problems. Once the role of the Coach TSC becomes “crystal clear” public policy:

• Children athletes with SRE injuries and deaths will be prevented
• Athlete Safety 1st will be promoted
• Coaches will not be Blind-Sided with criminal and civil litigation
• Citizens and Doctors will report
• Child Athletes will more likely self-report Child Athlete Physical and Psychological Maltreatment and Sexual Abuse

Most importantly, doctors have a duty to practice with the knowledge and implications of the legal relationship between the Coach Temporary Substitute Caretaker and the Child Athlete’s supreme standard of care.

Advocacy by doctors is another solution. Doctors are the eyes and ears of child welfare. Doctors can speak for Child Athlete welfare.

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