WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It was a soccer game this spring like any other, at least, that's what Ruth Marchant Forde thought. Yet, when the game became tense, so did the atmosphere.
"It was a very close game and tempers were obviously a little bit frayed," said Marchant Forde. "These particular coaches threatened this other coach. Verbally threatened. "
That coach was Marchant Forde's husband's assistant coach, a volunteer coach for the Greater Lafayette Regional Soccer Alliance.
Knowing the name of the other coach, Marchant Forde and her husband decided to do a little digging, and were shocked by what they found.
"They had fairly extensive criminal histories pertaining to violent crimes and drug-related crimes," said Marchant Forde.
Marchant Forde said they contacted the Greater Lafayette Recreational Soccer Alliance (GLRSA) and questioned them about their background-check policy.
According to Marchant Forde, the GLRSA's answer was less than adequate.
"When we pointed out that there was this extensive criminal history, the board's response was that everybody makes mistakes," said Marchant Forde.
Marchant Forde said the GLRSA has roughly 300 to 350 volunteer coaches each season, and about 4,000 players from ages 5 to 15.
She said the incident happened back in April, but months later, the board has not adopted a policy. A policy Marchant Forde said, is worth the money.
"In terms of overall cost for the organization, if you break it down in a child by child basis, it adds about 2 to 3 dollars per child, for the registration," said Marchant Forde. "So, it's a minimal cost."
Marchant Forde said overall, the organization is wonderful for the greater Lafayette community.
Yet, she said if this problem isn't resolved, her kids will be playing soccer somewhere else.
"We'd probably look for an alternative association that did implement the safety checks that most other sporting organizations in the area do," said Marchant Forde.
A GLRSA board member e-mailed NewsChannel 18 late Thursday afternoon and said Marchant Forde needs to bring the issue to the attention of of the board, so they can discuss it at one of their board meetings.
However, Marchant Forde said she drafted a potential policy in late May and emailed to the board, offering to present it to the members at their June meeting.
She said the board never responded.
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