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AAU Announces New Measures to Protect Young Athletes

One of the nation's largest nonprofit youth sports organizations, child abuse allegations at Penn State and Syracuse, as well as allegations against former AAU president Bobby Dodd. The task force's 31-page report recommends 42 changes to AAU policies.

"These new steps are not being implemented because we suspect anyone," national AAU president Louis Stout said in a press release, "rather, we must make these changes because we expect everyone to be willing to help us build a deeper trust and culture of safety."

The changes cover all aspects of AAU, including culture, protocols, screening, participation, training and reporting. As part of the protection measures, all current and prospective volunteers, coaches and AAU staff will need to undergo background checks. Neither coaches nor volunteers will be permitted to be alone with any child, and all staff will be considered mandatory reporters and must report any suspected child abuse to law enforcement, as well as AAU leaders.

Though Stout says the measures will require many coaches and adults working with the AAU to change the way they interact with youth, the measures will go a long way towards ensuring the safety of all participants.

The AAU is currently developing a manual to help AAU staff and volunteers become familiar with the new guidelines.

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