Athletic Union Vows Changes to Child Safety Policy

By | December 15, 2011

The Amateur Athletic Union was set to announce changes Wednesday to its child safety policies after its former president became the target of a child molestation investigation.

The AAU called a news conference at its suburban Orlando, Fla., headquarters where it was expected to announce the establishment of two tasks forces that will look at the organization’s internal protocols and policies for athlete safety.

Memphis, Tenn., police said Monday that investigators are trying to follow up allegations that ex-AAU president Robert “Bobby” Dodd molested children 30 years ago, but they have not received a formal victim complaint.

Investigators have received information from the AAU about accusations, but are not disclosing whether they are investigating one or several.

This came after ESPN reported Friday that two former basketball players have accused Dodd of molesting them as children.

The AAU oversees about 30 sports programs for all ages nationwide, including major sports like football, basketball and baseball to bocce ball, baton twirling and competitive jump rope. It says 500,000 athletes and 50,000 volunteers participate in its programs.

The AAU has confirmed it is investigating the molestation claims, which date to the 1980s. One of the players, 43-year-old Ralph West, told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” he was assaulted in Memphis in 1984.

AAU Acting President Louis Stout has said the 63-year-old Dodd has colon cancer and will not return to his positions as president and executive director.

The Associated Press left a message Tuesday at a phone number listed at a Florida address for Dodd. It remains unclear whether Dodd has consulted an attorney. Dodd did not respond to ESPN’s requests for comment for the original story.

Both accusers said they never went to police and only recently told their families.

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