Do any parents have any stories to relate about AAU Cheating Scandals in their parts of the county?
Our team went to the AAU Nationals in Memphis last year, and the coach decided to cheat. Four of the players opted not to play, and took a stand against the cheating. The coach was eventually caught by Bobby Dodd, president of AAU.
Bobby Dodd sat our four boys down and commended them for doing the right thing, and he promised them that this coach would never be able to coach again. Not only is the coach still coaching - but he is still using the same team name: Cokers Phenoms.
I've called or e-mailed Bobby Dodd ten times since last June, and he hasn't returned my calls. Two local AAU club presidents have called him and he hasn't returned any calls. Local clubs have also spoken to Rich Hill, the AAU Regional Director for the Niagara Region (who runs Central Western AAU), and he said that while he is aware of the cheating that went on with Coker's Phenoms, he doesn't want to ban them from any tournaments unless Bobby Dodd tells him to - and Bobby Dodd is not addressing the issue.
Coker's Phenoms was disqualified from AAU Nationals in June 2010. Here we are in April 2011 and this coach is still able to enter various AAU tournaments around the state. It just isn't right.
I've spoken with other parents across the country, and they all say that AAU seldom cracks down on cheating. AAU feels that if they actually lay down sanctions against cheaters, that it will somehow tarnish their image.
Someone at the AAU national office who spoke to me on the condition I never mentioned his name said that he thinks AAU is more concerned with preserving their contract with Disney and ESPN's Wide World of Sports in Orlando, than they are in policing their own organization. His theory is that if AAU actually publicized the names of the coaches who were caught cheating (because it is a lot) that Disney and ESPN might decide to not invite them back, because Disney wouldn't want anything to do with a youth organization that doesn't uphold strong moral values.
Here's a link to our complete AAU Story:
I would be very curious to know if any of the participants on this message board are aware of any time in the past that AAU has actually banned an individual from coaching. If they won't ban Coker's Phenoms, I can't imaging that they have ever banned anyone else.
For those of you who don't want to read the entire story via the above link, the short version is that the coach of Coker's Phenoms brought a soon-to-be high school freshman to the AAU National Tournament in Memphis, along with the birth certificate of a 6th grader who also played on the team. The coach told the 6th grader he couldn't make the trip, and he had the older player forge the 6th graders signature on all of the registration documents. The coach admitted to this once he was caught, and Bobby Dodd has all of that information, but thus far has decided that he doesn't want to enforce any type of discipline.
There are lots of cheating scandals. One form is the one mentioned above. It is never a good idea to cheat. Agree? If you want something, you have to strive to get it no matter how hard it would be. With regard to the blog posted above, good thing no serious damages were created or else it could have take them installment loans to cover it up.
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