PTC declares the cup stops here

Sherri Jefferson is an advocate, author, and an attorney. Transforming the lives of children is her passion. Transferring knowledge is her profession.

The recent allegations against a McIntosh High baseball coach has Peachtree City students and families on opposite sides.
Some are asserting that the acts are sexual battery, while others suggest that his actions are simply relating to a “cup check.”
To be clear, coaches are responsible for protecting their athletes from sustaining sports related injuries. This means more than providing helmets and cleats. Helmets protect athletes from sustaining head injuries that lead to concussions and brain damage. Cleats protect against injuries to their feet and legs and ensure footing and balance.
Groin cups, aka jock straps, help to prevent testicle fracture and ruptures in male athletes. Faced with a hard hit, young men can suffer severe injury, including surgical removal of their testicles, which could lead to infertility and impotency.
When a male suffers from this injury, it will have an impact upon his mental,  emotional, and psychological well-being. This can lead to drugs and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and acts of misconduct.
To this end, aside from preventing injury and vomiting, nausea, headaches, and pain relating to hits to the groin, coaches bear a responsibility to think long term to protect their athletes.
Faced with this dilemma, coaches carry the burden of balancing protection vs public policy.
When a coach touches an athlete, he can be accused of wrongdoing. His district can face legal action. However, it is necessary that parents, students, educators, and others engage in a thorough examination and process a clear understanding of the role of a coach and the intent of his encounters with athletes.
From the NFL to the MLB, it is not uncommon to see a coach pat the tail of an athlete. In the NCAA, it is not uncommon for a coach to use the handgrip of a bat to check whether his player is wearing a cup.
Furthermore, it is not uncommon in little league or
high school sports for a coach to determine whether his players are wearing a cup before the start of practice or throughout the day of a game.
If a student or parent protested this common practice or feels uncomfortable, then maybe communicating directly with the coach and school officials is the first step to determine if team sports is a good fit for the child.
If a parent or student has good faith reasons to think a cup check or touching of the groin is sexual battery, then upon a thorough investigation of the incident balanced with a clear understanding of coaching, law enforcement should make an assessment.
Everyone bears a responsibility for protecting children, as well as preventing someone from being falsely accused.
Nevertheless, it appears that Peachtree City declares the cup stops here!




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