Background checks on coaches, volunteers, staff will soon be mandatory

(WMC-TV) – The Amateur Athletic Union plans to announce new mandatory background checks for all adult coaches, volunteers, and staff.

This major change comes after a six-month review by two task forces. The aim is simple. The union wants to protect all children. It is something some schools are already doing.

Lynn Parkes, University of Memphis associate athletic director, will be paying close attention to the announcement once it is made.

"Should this announcement actually be made, it'll be interesting to see how the AAU is going to approach the implementation of all of this," said Parkes.

According to the Associated Press, the AAU conducted the review last December after two former basketball players accused former president Bobby Dodd of molesting them as children in Memphis.

Both men said news reports about the Penn State child sex abuse case prompted them to confront Dodd.

The AAU is expected to release details of a 30-page report which focuses on youth protection and adult volunteering and contains recommendations for changes to the AAU's policies, protocols, and procedures for dealing with adults who violate AAU's code of conduct.

"I think we're all responsible for providing an environment where our young people are safe and can grow," said Parkes.

Parkes believes it will be a lengthy process that will take time to enforce.

"The number of AAU coaches you have across the country is enormous and to do background check on each one of these, especially if you're getting into volunteers and everyone involved with AAU," she said.

A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday at the AAU national headquarters.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.