Coaches accused of sexual misconduct still active, USA Today finds

A USA Today investigation uncovers how the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and the national governing bodies under its umbrella allegedly failed to enforce bans on youth coaches accused or convicted of sexual misconduct. They found six coaches were still active in their sport, despite being banned from coaching. That included taekwondo coach Gerald Murphy, who served jail time for lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.

The writers say the Olympic committee vowed repeatedly to fix its child-protection system, but the investigation found that gaping holes remain.

"Nobody's keeping track of them. They're banned and then it's like, okay, we've done our job and then it's forgotten about," said Nancy Armour, the lead reporter on the USA Today Sports investigation with Rachel Axon and Brent Schrotenboer.  

Armour pointed to the lack of enforcement.

"Most of these governing bodies, they don't have the resources, they don't have the staff, they don't have the knowledge to follow up and make sure that these people are staying out of sports after they've been banned," Armour said.

In the example of Murphy, who was banned by the USA Taekwondo in 2014, his wife filed paperwork to take over the gym in Florida he once owned. But he continued coaching for four years.  

Armour said the six coaches they found who were accused of sexual misconduct and banned were easy to find, "hiding in plain sight" and posting on social media platforms.  

"You can find these people, so what about the people who aren't that obvious?" she said. Armour said she "absolutely" believes there are more banned coaches out there who are practicing. Unlike abuse scandals with the Boy Scouts or the Catholic Church, however, there aren't people to take responsibility or leadership in remedying the situation, she said.

"Right now it's this hodgepodge of policies and lists. And if you're a parent, where do you go?" Armour said.

She advised parents to do their due diligence and be their children's advocates.

"You can check the SafeSport list. You can go to the governing body of the sports that your kids are involved in, though there's no guarantee that those sports have lists or that they're public. But call the governing bodies. Call the people who are running the sports your kids are involved in and say, 'Hey, has this person been background checked? What do you know about this person?' You know, be aware of the people who are working with your kids," Armour said.

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As for next steps, Armour said a universal ban list must be created.

"There has to be one place that everybody can go and say, okay, is this person banned? And then there's got to be enforcement," Armour said. "There has to be somebody who is following up to make sure once somebody is banned they are not coaching."

In a statement, the USOC told CBS News, "We have worked with each of our national governing bodies to ensure all information on sanctioned individuals is provided" to the U.S. Center for SafeSport. It also said it expects a comprehensive database will be available early next year.

USA Taekwondo also said in a statement: "We are currently involved in a legal process that prevents us from commenting further except to say that USA Taekwondo believes that education for parents, athletes, trainers and coaches is key to providing a safe and positive experience for everyone involved in competitive sports."