The story we’ve all been waiting to drop finally found it’s way into the mainstream media. KSDK reported last night that a Player accuses Lou Fusz soccer coach of sexual abuse. Police in Kirkwood and St. Charles County have applied for warrants against the coach on behalf of the alleged 16-year-old victim according to the story. Lou Fusz Coach Accused of Sexual Abuse
The story notes that The U.S. Center for SafeSport has now suspended the coach’s license after Lou Fusz leaders alerted it to the sexual abuse allegations. A search of the centralized database provided by Safesport shows only one coach listed as being disciplined in Missouri in 2020. I’ve embedded a photo of the coach in question below. While the story notes he has been suspended, the database currently has it classified as a temporary suspension.
The SafeSport site identifies what type of records are published
The Centralized Disciplinary Database (CDD) was designed specifically to inform the public if/when individuals participating in U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Movements have either been found to have engaged in—or are alleged to have engaged in—forms of misconduct that present a potential risk to other members of the sport community.
Accordingly, the Center does not publish all of its decisions to the CDD, but rather only those that could pose a potential risk to the broader sport community. This includes certain types of Temporary Restrictions, which are occasionally put in place, as necessary, pending the Center’s investigation into reported allegations; as well as when certain types of Sanctions are imposed after a Participant has been found to have violated the SafeSport Code of Conduct
The KSDK reports notes the following timeline related to the coach:
The alleged coach pleaded to misdemeanor resisting arrest and DWI in February and was sentenced to two years of probation, according to court records.
Given those guilty pleas, the alleged victim’s family wants to know how he was ever allowed to coach their daughter’s team, according to their attorney.
While the case was resolved in February this year, charges were first filed in May 2019 and you would expect that it would show up in a background check. Per the Docket information on the case, on January 28th the Felony charge was Reduced to a Misdemeanor (read the KSDK story for the details of why it was a felony resisting arrest charge).
The Missouri Youth Soccer Association website lists several requirements for Coaches for the upcoming season (2020-2021) that begins August 1st. You have to dig into their 2019-2020 MYSA Registration Policies to get the details on background checks. While SafeSport requires a background check every two years, MYSA requires an annual background check. On page 18 of the document, Coach Manager and Volunteer Registration notes the following:
ii. Each coach must complete a background check within the Registration Software system & complete the online SafeSport training in order to coach. Background checks are done annually and are current for one seasonal year. A background check can be rescinded should information become available at a later time that conflicts with MYSA’s minimum standards of compliance.
That information will call into question the quality of the process, something I experienced personally. MYSA implemented a Photography Policy last August requiring photographers (not other media figures, only photographers) to get a background check and take the SafeSport online course in order to shoot along the same side of the field as the player benches. I submitted my information and credit card information the next day and was later charged for a background check. I never received a response back regarding my background check so you didn’t see me on the sideline last Fall for the HS Girls State Cup. Kind of hard to cover an organization that is incapable of completing that basic service and has no formal process for applying for the credential.
Note that I first reported about the changes at Lou Fusz with regard to Pat McVey on June 23rd and I continued to update the report as additional public information became available. You can find that report, which has consistently been the most read story on my site since that time, at Lou Fusz Announces Girls Soccer Coaches. It includes a link to the civil case providing an Order of Protection for the young woman which is where you can find the DWI information as well. Note that Pat is an attorney and represented himself on the Order of Protection.
I’ll continue to update this report as more information becomes available. Lou Fusz Coach Accused of Sexual Abuse