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Monday
Dec122011

Emboldened by Penn State Case, Two Men Allege Abuse by AAU Head

ABC News(MEMPHIS) -- The Amateur Athletic Union has permanently removed Robert "Bobby" Dodd from the president's post after two men accused him of sexually abusing them when they were teens, an AAU spokesman told ABC News.

The Memphis Police Department began probing the allegations against Dodd on Friday, one day after the AAU, one of the largest sports organizations in the country, informed them of accusations from Ralph West, 43, of Miami, and an unnamed accuser, AAU spokesman Ralph Sachs said.

"AAU is facing up to, straight up to, these serious allegations," Sachs said.  "[The AAU] has been forthright and candid.  The interim president, staff, the volunteers are schocked and deeply concerned.  All their action has been taken to protect the integrity of the organization but, particularly, the safety of the children."

The two detailed the alleged abuse when they were Memphis schoolboys in an exclusive ESPN interview on Friday.  The AAU also gave police the name of a third man who may have allegations against Dodd, Sachs said.

On ESPN, West cited an assault that he alleges took place in 1983 when he was 15 and on an AAU basketball team trip to Florida, as well as other incidents.

"I was dead asleep, and I don't remember anything but waking up and he's trying to put his hand in my boxer shorts," West said, referring to Dodd, then a coach.

Dodd, 63, told the AAU he was slated to have surgery for colon cancer after its board of directors convened a special meeting with him on Nov. 14 at the AAU's Lake Buena Vista, Fla., offices, Sachs said.

"He completely denied the allegations.  Repeatedly," Sachs said.  "He has not returned to this office since, nor will he."

West said that he and the other man were inspired to go public last month about the decades-old alleged abuse after former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of sex crimes against boys.

The second accuser, whose identity ESPN didn't reveal, said Dodd gave alcohol to minors and, during one such occasion at his house, spiked the accuser's drink with some sort of tranquilizer.

"The last thing I can really remember was him carrying me into his bedroom and...touching me in ways I didn't want another man touching me," said the accuser, whose face and voice were obscured for ESPN's broadcast.

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