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Scaled-Back Volunteer Coach Discipline Measure Becomes Law

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Law, Sports
A law set to take effect this year closes a loophole in how state statute deals with volunteer coaches at schools who commit felonies. (Pixabay)
A law set to take effect this year closes a loophole in how state statute deals with volunteer coaches at schools who commit felonies. (Pixabay)

A law set to take effect this year closes a loophole in how state statute deals with volunteer coaches at schools who commit felonies.

But the new measure doesn’t go as far as some lawmakers wanted.

Nothing in state law previously required schools to report to the Indiana High School Athletic Association when a coach who isn’t an employee is convicted of a felony.

2019 legislation originally required the IHSAA to keep a database of those coaches. And it required schools to report misconduct of volunteer coaches – essentially, something that maybe doesn’t rise to a criminal level but is still wrong.

But that language was all taken out. Instead, Rep. Donna Schaibley (R-Carmel) says the new law prescribes how schools interview coaches for a job.

“Ask the individual if their accreditation has ever been revoked,” Schaibley says. “The schools must request references and contact those references to speak to the schools or where they were before.”

The law also mandates expanded criminal background checks for volunteer coaches.