Entries in Coach (9)


University of Texas Coach's Affair Exposed to Block Her Raise, Lawyer Suggests

Kirby Lee/WireImage(AUSTIN, Texas) -- The attorney representing a University of Texas track coach who abruptly quit over a 2003 affair with an adult student suggested Monday that the former lover was prompted to come forward to prevent the coach from receiving a raise and extended contract.

Bev Kearney, who has worked with the women's track and field team at the University of Texas at Austin since 1993, told ABC News Monday that she was "shocked" when the affair with the female student was revealed.

She was placed on leave in November, but she abruptly quit on Saturday after admitting she had a consensual affair with an adult who was a student-athlete between 2002 and 2003.

"Right now I'm in complete survival mode," Kearney, 55, told ABC News. She said that she has no immediate plans for her career.

Derek A. Howard, Kearney's attorney, said that he believes the timing of the disclosure by the now-30-year-old former lover is suspicious. The former student has not been identified.

"Bev had been offered a substantial $150,000 per year raise, to a five-year contract," Howard said. "That was in the works, and I think it's fair to say that this woman was put up to it by some other person, for the reason that the individual who put her up to it was resentful that Bev was being offered this."

"We can't say what evidence there is of that. But we can say it seems remarkable, let's say coincidental, the exact timing this report came out of the blue [was] when the athletic council was recommending that Bev be promoted, and offered a raise," he said.

Kearney's tenure at the university began in 1993. In the past 20 years, the Lady Longhorns have won six NCAA track championships.

University spokesman Nick Voinis did not directly address Howard's suggestion, but repeated the school's statement that as head coach, Kearney was "responsible for assuring the best interests of the student-athletes that he or she coaches," and that it "is unprofessional and unacceptable for a head coach to carry on an intimate relationship with a student-athlete that he or she is coaching."

"The university told Coach Kearney and Mr. Howard that we were prepared to begin the termination process. She chose to resign instead," Voinis said in a statement.

Over the weekend, Patti Ohlendorf, UT's vice president for legal affairs, said in a statement that it had begun to review this relationship in late October after the former student-athlete reported her prior relationship with Kearney.

The university said that it is believed that Kearney did not have other similar relationships with student-athletes while coaching at the school.

"Coach Kearney is a good person and has been very important to the university. However, she made this terrible mistake and used unacceptably poor judgment in having this relationship," Ohlendorf said.

Howard points out that the University of Texas does not have a rule that prohibits relationships between students and professors or coaches, but that the school states that the relationship must be reported.

"The rule she was fired for was not having the relationship, but failing to report. Ten years ago when this relationship started, that rule was brand new," he said. "We think there will be evidence that men who do this are not treated the same as this woman has been treated. That's gender and racial bias if white males engaged in same behavior." Kearney is black.

Voinis told ABC News, "The policy Mr. Howard mentioned to you is not the controlling factor in this case."

UT's student handbook indicated that -- if a policy applies to all faculty, staff and students of the university -- the teacher, supervisor or adviser has the obligation to disclose its existence to an immediate supervisor.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Former Olympic Swim Coach Charged with Child Abuse

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md.) -- A once-prominent swim coach who trained Olympic athletes and thousands of other young hopefuls was charged Thursday with abusing one of his teen swimmers 30 years ago.

It is the latest blow to USA Swimming, the sport's national governing body, since ABC News broke news of a sexual abuse scandal within its ranks.

Rick Curl, 63, who founded Maryland's Curl-Burke Swim Club in 1978, is alleged to have had a four-year sexual relationship with swimmer Kelley Davies beginning when she was 13 in 1983. When Davies' parents discovered the relationship in 1987 by reading her diary, Curl paid them $150,000 in return for their silence, according to the terms of a 1989 settlement revealed by the Washington Post earlier this year.

"The sexual abuse progressed to an inappropriate sexual relationship," the Montgomery County Police Department said in a statement. Curl has been charged with one count of child abuse, and surrendered to police Thursday.

Davies, now 43 and known by her married name, Kelley Currin, swam with Curl until she was 18 and is cooperating with the investigation. Her attorney Bob Allard, who has represented other victims, said she "is pleased that justice is going to be carried out."

Curl's lawyers, Thomas J. Kelly and Bruce L. Marcus, released a statement that said Curl is "a good man" and "a devoted father and husband."

"When the allegations were made public," said Kelly and Marcus, "many of the swimmers and their families reached out to us to offer their support and to reiterate that Rick was an excellent coach, a good person, and a man that provided them and their children with strong moral leadership. We look forward to having Mr. Curl's positions made clear in the coming weeks."

USA Swimming banned Curl for life in September. In a statement, USA Swimming said that it believed its report to the Montgomery County Police Department had "sparked the action" against Curl.

"USA Swimming's Director of Safe Sport, Susan Woessner, reported the information USA Swimming received on Rick Curl to the Montgomery County PD on July 24, 2012 via phone, and via follow-up email," said the statement. "USA Swimming has also completed its investigation and review process, which resulted in the organization permanently banning Rick Curl from USA Swimming membership on Sept. 18, 2012. "

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Suspect in Youth Soccer Coach's Murder Flees to Mexico

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A man suspected of murdering and mutilating a New York youth soccer coach has fled the country, according to police.

Michael Jones, 25, was stabbed numerous times in the chest, ear and neck in an attack that left blood on the sidewalk. He was left to die around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Authorities were reportedly close to making an arrest when suspect Orlando Orea, 32, managed to leave the country, according to ABC News' New York station WABC.

Orea also goes by Orlando Gutierrez and Orlando Estevas.

When authorities discovered Orea's name on Tuesday afternoon, they immediately put him on a no-fly list, but it was too late. He had gone to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and paid cash for a last minute Aero Mexico flight, according to WABC.

Jones was in his fifth season as a soccer coach for the Red Bulls' youth training program. He is originally from Liverpool, England. Police do not believe robbery was the motive since Jones' wallet and phone were found at the scene.

Detectives are looking into whether the killing may have been a case of mistaken identity. They are investigating whether there was a dispute at a bar in the area before the killing that did not involve Jones, according to WABC.

The suspect may have been in a dispute over a woman, ran out of the bar, saw Jones and possibly mistook him for the person involved in the argument.

Surveillance footage shows Jones walking near his attacker before the stabbing, but it is hard to tell if the two were having a conversation or exchanged any words.

The video shows a man walking away from the scene with long, dark hair in a ponytail. Police estimate he is between 25 and 30 years old.

Jones' family lives in England and was shocked to hear about his death.

"It's unbelievable. It's like you feel it hasn't happened and you're going to wake up and it's all a dream and you can wind the clock back so we're not in this situation," Jones' father Perry Jones told the BBC. "But, obviously, we are and that's not going to change."

Jones had followed his passion for soccer to the U.S. and his father said Jones loved his New York lifestyle and was hoping to get a visa and build his life here.

Loved ones are gathering Wednesday in Westchester, N.Y. for a memorial service for Jones.

"He's a great guy," roommate and fellow coach Karl Hogan told WABC. "[An] honest guy and very passionate about his job and worked very hard, always thought about the kids."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Manhunt in Red Bulls Youth Soccer Coach's Mutilation and Murder

ABC News / NYPD(NEW YORK) -- Police are searching for a man wanted for the grisly murder and mutilation of a New York youth soccer coach.

Surveillance video that shows the man authorities believe stabbed Michael Jones numerous times in the chest and neck and cut off his ear before leaving him to die on a sidewalk was released by the New York Police Department.

Jones, 25, was in his fifth season as a soccer coach for the Red Bulls' youth training program. He was stabbed around 4:30 a.m. on Sunday and the killer is still on the loose.

Police do not believe robbery was the motive since Jones' wallet and phone were found at the scene, according to ABC News' New York station WABC.

Jones was reportedly seen talking to his attacker moments before the attack, but it is unclear if the two knew each other.

The surveillance footage shows a man walking away from the scene with long, dark hair in a ponytail. Police estimate he is between 25 and 30 years old.

Jones moved to New York from Liverpool, England, about five years ago to coach soccer for the Red Bulls.

"He was a fantastic coach who loved soccer and a terrific friend for many of us," the team said in a statement. "This is truly a sad day for our soccer community and we will do our utmost to help authorities in their investigation of this case. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's family at this time."

 Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Former US Olympic Gymnastics Coach Banned over Sex Abuse Charges

Digital Vision/Thinsktock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- In a week already marred with a mounting sexual abuse scandal at Penn State, a former U.S. Olympic gymnastics coach has had his coaching privileges permanently revoked and has been kicked out of the sport's Hall of Fame following an investigation into sexual abuse allegations.

Don Peters, 62, who led the 1984 U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team with all-around champion Mary Lou Retton and coached many gymnasts to medal podiums over several of decades, has been listed as "permanently ineligible" for membership by USA Gymnastics, the nation's governing body of the sport.  The action means he can no longer work or volunteer at more than 2,000 member clubs across the country.

Two of Peters' former gymnasts have come forward in recent years to say that he had sexual intercourse with them in the 1980s when they were 17 and 18 years old.  Peters, who resigned from USA Gymnastics earlier this year, had argued that his banning was "moot" because he had already relinquished his membership, and his attorney attacked the investigation.

"The investigator hired by USA Gymnastics tainted and corrupted the interviews of the witnesses against Coach Peters," attorney Kevin O'Connell said.

USA Gymnastics is standing by the findings of its hearing panel, which essentially said it believes the allegations of the two now-adult women.  The case was not referred to law enforcement because the statute of limitations had passed.

"They can remove [Peters] from their corporate Hall of Fame," O'Connell said, "but they cannot remove the gold medals from the team he coached."

Gymnastics is not the only sport to come under the spotlight for sexual abuse of athletes by coaches.  An ABC News 20/20 investigation -- "The Coach's Secret" -- in 2009 revealed that USA Swimming has quietly banned some 36 swim coaches for life because of sexual misconduct allegations.  Following a series of reports, USA Swimming enacted numerous child protection policies and background screening procedures.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coach Who Kicked and Pushed Player Resigns

Photo Courtesy - Holy Family University(PHILADELPHIA) -- A college basketball player who accused his Holy Family University coach of pushing and kicking him during a practice session suffered a torn ligament in his wrist as a result of the incident that was captured on video, the player's lawyer said Friday.

The coach, John O'Connor decided to resign after his apology to former player Matt Kravchuk was rebuffed this week on ABC's Good Morning America. Kravchuk, 19, had filed a police report.

O'Connor, 51, whom the Pennsylvania school had suspended because of the accusation, formally resigned Thursday after learning that prosecutors agreed not to press charges against him.

Jack Cohen, Kravchuk's attorney, said, "My client's feeling is that the DA makes the decisions if there's enough for a criminal count. They made that decision and he takes that as it is."

"Matthew was diagnosed with a TFC tear in his wrist and will require surgery. It is from the assault."

The Kravchuk family has no plans to sue for the injury, Cohen said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Basketball Coach Caught on Tape Kicking, Pushing Player 

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A college basketball coach caught on tape roughing up a player during practice said that his behavior was an "accident."

John O'Connor, 51, was suspended by Holy Family University officials after 19-year-old Matt Kravchuk filed a police report, claiming that the coach elbowed and backhanded him, leaving him with a bloody nose and scrapes to his head and lip.

The two confronted each other live on "Good Morning America" Thursday.

"Matt, this was an accident. I was just trying to make this a better team, make us more competitive and in doing so an accident happened and it was unintentional by me. I'm really sorry that it happened," O'Connor told Kravchuk.

Kravchuk, a college sophomore, wasn't buying the apology.

"To be honest, it's kind of hard to accept your apology, just because you claim it's justified, you claim you weren't crossing the line...As your player I'm supposed to be able to respect you and I don't feel I can do that anymore," Kravchuk said.

Video of the Jan. 25 practice shows O'Connor pushing Kravchuk to the ground during a practice drill. O'Connor can be seen forcefully grabbing a basketball from Kravchuk's hands as he pushes the student to the ground. Then, he walks towards Kravchuk, 19, and kicks him.

"I didn't really see it coming. It just caught me by surprise," Kravchuk said.

O'Connor can be heard cursing at the player, saying, "Get the [expletive] out of here."

"I just feel that I was a coach and I was trying to get my team more competitive and in doing so I made a mistake," O'Connor said.

O'Connor, the former assistant coach at Georgia Tech, said that the team had just suffered a tough loss and that his actions were part of a combat rebounding drill that the players were doing at the time of the incident.

"The drill itself is, you're supposed to continue to try to keep the drill going, so as he goes down, I'm trying to get them to stay competitive and keep the drill going so I just nudged him with my foot to try to keep him kind of moving in the drill," O'Connor said. 

Kravchuk felt like it was much more than a nudge. He e-mailed the school's athletic director the day of the practice and met with her the next day.

"She reassured me that action would be taken, at least some sort of action. So I continued to go to practice at least for the next few weeks and then when I realized that nothing had been done, me and my parents met with her again," Kravchuk said.

The college student and his family felt that the punishment against O'Connor was not severe enough, so Kravchuk filed a police report.

O'Connor said that he was reprimanded by the school and that he had already apologized to Kravchuk and the team by the time the college sophomore and his family filed the police report.

The college student said that O'Connor did apologize to him and the team, but it wasn't enough.

Other members of the Holy Family basketball team have come to the coach's defense, writing a letter supporting O'Connor.

"It's easier for them to accept his apology when it never happened to any of them," said Kravchuk. "I just want some action taken and I felt the university owed it to me to take some sort of action and when they didn't I took it to the police."

Kravchuk no longer plays for the team. O'Connor has been suspended from coaching as the investigation continues. No criminal charges have been filed against him. The Holy Family men's basketball team lost their most recent game.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coach Obama: President Helps Fill In for Daughter's Basketball Coach

Photo Courtesy - Pete Souza/The White House (file)(CHEVY CHASE, Md.) -- President Obama helped coach his daughter’s basketball team on Saturday. The White House says this is the first time the president has filled in for the usual coach.

The president’s daughter, Sasha, did not play with her team during her dad’s debut; she is in Colorado, on a ski trip with her mom, the first lady.

No word on who won the game.

The game took place at a Chevy Chase, Md., community center where the president and first lady regularly watch Sasha’s games.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mississippi Coach Caught on Tape Whipping High School Student

Betty and Jason Hubbard, whose son was one of the whipped players. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(JACKSON, Miss.) -- A Mississippi high school basketball coach caught on tape whipping his players has defended the punishment, saying he was trying to "save these young men."

Murrah High School coach Marlon Dorsey has since been suspended for violently paddling his students' backsides, but at least one of the players' parents says the punishment is insufficient.

"First instinct I was very angry and I was outraged," said Jason Hubbard, who witnessed the beatings at practice and whose son was one of the whipped players.

The parents have since filed suit in federal court, accusing Dorsey of beating their sons "with a five- to 10-pound weight belt," beginning in late September.  The beatings, the lawsuit claimed, resulted from the players' "failing to run the basketball plays correctly."

Players, the suit continued, were told that if they complained, they would forfeit the opportunity to play basketball at the Jackson school and that one of the boys was whipped daily.  But Dorsey said in a statement that he was only trying to help the players.

"I took it upon myself to save these young men from the destruction of self and what society has accepted and become silent to the issues our students are facing on a daily basis," he said in the statement.  "I am deeply remorseful of my actions to help our students."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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