Coaches fear sex scandals drawing wrong type of attention

In the midst of sex scandals in Mt. Pleasant, coaching on fields around the Lowcountry may be changing. (Joe O'Neill/WCIV)

By Natalie

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Skepticism may be growing for parents after Louis "Skip" ReVille, who had a clean background check, surfaced as an accused child molester.

Coaches like Gary Santos say it draws the wrong kind of attention to their profession.

"I was very disappointed," Santos said.

Santos has been coaching recreational sports for 35 years and currently coaches football and track at the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department. He says his profession is full of honest, hard-working volunteers.

"The good coaches out there, the good teachers out there, good people, are now under the microscope and it's a shame," Santos said.

It's a reality Santos hopes parents realize as he encourages them to meet their coaches and spend time with the adults supervising their children.

Ken Ayoub is the Mount Pleasant Recreation Department's director. ReVille worked for the recreation department as a basketball coach at Moultrie Middle School between 2009-2011. Ayoub says the ReVille case has had a definite impact on volunteer coaching.

"I've been meeting with coaches last several months at the coaches meetings, stressing what we need to do and be aware of," Ayoub said.

Ayoub says material from the non-profit organization, Darkness to Light, was distributed to all the coaches in hopes of helping them recognize the signs of danger.

There are few studies that show the number of kids abused by coaches in America. It's something New York filmmaker Chris Gavagan hopes to bring to light with his documentary Coached into Silence.

"This film, the genesis of this story was my own personal experience having been sexually abused by a coach at the age of 14 in Brooklyn, New York," Gavagan said. "It became obvious it's far more wide-spread then we ever knew, and you could pick any town in America and you're going to find examples of this unfortunately."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off