Complaint against Penn State over handling of abuse accusation

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Zebra, May 17, 2019.

  1. mfp

    mfp Podium

    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Messages:
    2,199
    Not completely accurate. The most recent Safe Sport Act changes included updating part of the existing US federal code concerning Child Abuse Reporting wording to specify "within a 24-hour period". But no one involved here is minor so that part of the USC doesn't apply and you can't bust Korfanty (or Glon) on a failure to report within 24 hours under Safe Sport / US Code.

    But while there's no statutory "within 24 hours" requirement involved here, there's still an obligation to report under Safe Sport. And it's ongoing:

    The obligation to report is broader than reporting a pending charge or criminal arrest of a Participant; it requires reporting to the Center any conduct which, if true, would constitute Sexual Misconduct and/or Child Abuse. The obligation to report to the Center is an ongoing one and is not satisfied simply by making an initial report. The obligation includes reporting, on a timely basis, all information of which an Adult Participant becomes aware, including the names of witnesses, third-party reporters, and Claimants.

    Along with that obligation -- which applies to all adult members, not just national coaches -- it's also helpful to check out a couple other USA Fencing policies and then reread the Philadelphia Inquirer article:

     
  2. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,172
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    Are you [rhetorical "you," not you personally, Slo-mo] one of the people complaining about the SafeSport and background checks we have to go through? This is exactly why they're required.
    1. This case makes clear that there are people who think this kind of behavior is OK or can be brushed off with an excuse and an apology. It's not OK anywhere, and furthermore it's bad for the sport because it causes athletes, coaches, and officials to quit. We have to keep driving home that message until everyone understands.
    2. By making reporting mandatory, USFA makes clear that for this kind of behavior, it is not Korfanty's or Glon's job, or any other coach's job to try and mediate the grievance, even if they're afraid a friend or colleague will lose his/her job if the complaint is reported.
    3. By making the training mandatory for everyone, and on an ongoing basis, USFA takes the "ignorance of the rules" defense out of play, so people can't hide behind it after they try and minimize the incident in the interest of protecting a friend's job and/or stature in the sport.
     
    lovefoil likes this.
  3. Damien Lehfeldt

    Damien Lehfeldt DE Bracket

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Messages:
    419
    Location:
    Washington, District of Columbia, United States

    One wonders why you’re a clueless dingus. This will be my one annual comment I make in these terrible forums. Carry on everyone. Godspeed.
     
    wwittman likes this.
  4. Capt. Slo-mo

    Capt. Slo-mo Podium

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,081
    Location:
    West Coast
    Interesting. I had posted that question elsewhere about whether the 24 hour rule applied to non-minors, because in my perusal of several SafeSport documents, I saw a lot about minors, but nothing that specifically addressed reporting requirements for adult victims. The general consensus, both here and elsewhere was that age didn't matter.

    Do you have a link to the portion of the SafeSport material that excludes adult victims from the 24 hour rule?

    Regardless, the question still remains whether the two of them properly reported what they learned to the SafeSport site in a timely fashion, 24 hour rule or not. Added to that is the appearance of the two of them attempting to influence or stifle someone else from filing a SafeSport report.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  5. pillow

    pillow Podium

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,950
    Nice to hear from you. Ed should have resigned a long time ago. I know one WS fencer (now retired) who probably would agree.
     
    Capt. Slo-mo likes this.
  6. pillow

    pillow Podium

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,950
    Welcome back to you too. Quite frankly, you probably have not been following this forum for the past year or so. There have been few, if any, contentious issues, personal attacks, etc. Nothing like the good old days of Eric and company. It's been really boring. This recent scandal is at least a bit of fresh air.
     
    Capt. Slo-mo likes this.
  7. Capt. Slo-mo

    Capt. Slo-mo Podium

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,081
    Location:
    West Coast
    How is good old heretic? Did anybody call in a health and safety check on him after Columbia won its 3rd NCAA title?:rolleyes:
     
    teacup likes this.
  8. mfp

    mfp Podium

    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Messages:
    2,199
    The "Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017" (S.534) aka "Safe Sport Act" amended the "Reporting Requirement.--Section 226 of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (34 U.S.C. 20341)" among others.

    The Safe Sport Act specified that the term `as soon as possible' means 'within a 24-hour period' for the purposes of "34 U.S. Code § 20341. Child abuse reporting." That section of U.S. code covers Child abuse. The term “child abuse” is defined in the code as the physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment of a child. The section does not cover abuse of adults.

    Here's a link to the (updated) 34 U.S. Code § 20341

    Here's a link to the most recent Safe Sport policy.

    While there's still an obligation to report Safe Sport type abuse when the victim is an adult, and the reporting obligation is an ongoing one, there's no explicit Safe Sport Act, corresponding U.S. Code section or current Safe Sport policy section mandating a report within a 24-hour period for cases with adult abuse victims.

    Yes, whether a National Coach followed various related, existing, and actual Safe Sport, Coaching, Conduct and other policies is of interest to USA Fencing and its members. However here the "24 hour rule" isn't one of them.
     
  9. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2003
    Messages:
    4,904
    Location:
    Virginia
    My apologies for the error. I conflated two sections of the new rules. Either way, however, there is an obligation to report.
     
    Privateer likes this.
  10. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    37,165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somewhere in your nightmares!
    Wait---the training is mandatory for everyone?

    I have not had this communicated to me.

    I have not had the training. No one has asked/directed me to do so. It has not, AFAIK, been checked that I have had it. It is not included in the tournament waivers.
     
  11. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,172
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    Everyone who is potentially in a position of responsibility for others: coaches, referees, administrators, etc. People whose only role is athlete or parent are not subject to the specific training requirements, but there is also a code of conduct applicable to all participants. I haven't checked to see if it has any reporting requirements.
     
  12. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    37,165
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Somewhere in your nightmares!
    Whew. I thought maybe they'd slipped something through extending the requirements to "everyone" everyone and I'd missed it.

    The Code of Conduct itself seems fairly short and simple, though it mandates fencers to "abide by all applicable USA Fencing rules and regulations, including USA Fencing’s SafeSport Policy, Athlete Handbook and Rulebook". Which makes it, by extension, long and complex.

    I seem to recall a somewhat more extensive code of conduct for people on national teams or fencers sent to designated events under US Fencing's auspices, but I don't know where that might be found or what it includes these days.
     
  13. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,172
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    Correct. It's in the Athlete Handbook.
     
  14. malediction

    malediction Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Northeast Coast USA
    I've got a couple questions:

    Why has nothing been done about Wes Glon (or has something been done)? He apparently stood by and did nothing except try to bully Oldham into silence (if these articles are accurate: (1) https://www.philly.com/news/penn-st...dze-oldham-sex-assault-korfanty-20190516.html, (2) https://www.philly.com/news/saber-f...f0YR1Tslj4PUxUru1jBEwiKUkdal-Od1mSoTW67t09Itg). I mean, for crying out loud, Glon apparently decided Oldham's accusations were difficult to believe before unilaterally deciding to report nothing. I wouldn't feel comfortable sending kids to fence under a coach with that kind of cavalier attitude toward allegations of abuse. Where does he get off, deciding what's credible and what isn't?

    Secondly, what's up with OFA dis-inviting Oldham's club from participating in their summer camp? (). Given the circumstances, it's not a good look even if there is some benign explanation.

    Finally, I've stopped visiting this forum regularly, but the fencing subreddit gets a complaint about once every other month concerning someone being sexually harassed by clubmates or coaches. It feels pretty evident sexual misconduct is vastly under reported among fencers, and I worry that we're going to face a reckoning like gymnastics did. Just how pervasive is the old boys' club in this sport, anyway?
     
    lovefoil and piste off like this.
  15. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    3,259
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SE PA
    That's pretty scary.
    I hope not too, but it hasn't slowed down gymnastic clubs around me.
     
  16. malediction

    malediction Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Northeast Coast USA
    Yeah, it is pretty scary. I just tried to find some of them. Reddit's search functions are terrible, and google is hit or miss finding particular topics, but there is this one (5 months old):



    There are others, but I'm having trouble finding them. 2 or 3 months ago, someone asked if there was a list of known harassers and creeps in fencing, and this month we get the current scandal. There are older ones, too, but again they're hard to dig up once they fall off the top page.
     
  17. Capt. Slo-mo

    Capt. Slo-mo Podium

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    Messages:
    3,081
    Location:
    West Coast
    As pervasive as the Russian Mafia in Mother Russia's bordello industry.
     
  18. pillow

    pillow Podium

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,950
    Wes Glon's days as PSU head coach will be over shortly. After Kaidanov got fired post the Sandusky scandal, Wes has no chance.
     
    lovefoil likes this.
  19. Mihail

    Mihail Podium

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Messages:
    662
    Hey anyone else super depressed by this thread? I do thank everyone for bringing it to light, though.

    Besides following SafeSport guidelines, what can teammates and coaches do to make sure that their fencing clubs are not locations where harassment and assault could take place, and in the unlikely event that it does, that the proper steps are followed? I think "be a decent human being" is step one but I'm also eager to hear actionable suggestions and policies.
     
  20. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2013
    Messages:
    1,172
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    I think it has to start with making clear that there is nobody important enough that the rules don't apply to them. The big problems like this one start when inappropriate conduct is ignored or penalties waived because the offender [has coached three athletes to the Olympics \ has built the largest club in the region \ has an FIE ref rating].

    Look at some of the scandals in other Olympic sports: gymnastics is probably the most obvious example. The reason they get to the point of being horrifying is that the offender has played a significant part in the sport's success at the Olympic level, and the NGB's budget is so highly dependent on bringing those gold medals home every four years that the NGB executives can't bring themselves to punish the offender because it could set them back 20 years or more.

    The same thing goes in the team sports, where abusive coaches (e.g. Bob Knight, Woody Hayes) are tolerated as long as they keep contending for championships and bringing in sponsorship money. Eventually, the abuser does something so outrageous that the bad press threatens the entire program and the school administration, so the coach has to be fired.

    If you want to keep your program or your entire sport from reaching that point, you have to be willing to punish the bigshots before their abuses become untenable.
     

Share This Page