Discussion in 'Allstar Cheerleading' started by oncecoolcoachnowmom, Feb 4, 2021.
Had to google it myself (not sure why I thought he was younger) but he is 25.
ehh yeah i thought he was more around 21, but wasnt sure. In that case, he should have known better, i do sometimes not question relations that say 18-19 year old have with someone under 18 cause its a lot more common. But 25, he's an idiot....
He found him on social media., if a person wants to do this they dont need to be on a team with kids.....there is plenty of kids at competitions and on line for a predator to connect with.
Of course, but being on the same team would surely make it easier. Either way, there is zero reason for the open age grid to be what it currently is.
I do believe someone on these boards warned us more was coming..
My daughter was so upset. She ran into my zoom call to show me cheerupdates. She is 13 and this (and Jerry) are the 1st scandals she has really been aware of. She is really confused. And has met Robert - he has been to our gym for clinics- our owner is so upset and so apologetic.
As a parent this is too much to process. After everything that came out about gymnastics - I am worried. We have a very similar closed off sport.
Gym culture has to change to protect kids, too.
*How many times have you been told to drop your kid off (no spectators) at a choreo weekend with a choreographer present whom you've never met? (That really needs to not be happening.)
*How many times has the team sleepover been at a coach or parent's house? (Less of that.)
*The whole "we are not just a gym, we're FAMILY" thing is perfect for someone to use to groom a kid (you would never tell on your family)
*Potentially predatory dynamics where you have (example) young adults maybe 18-21 who are recently aged out coaching kids who used to be their teammates (and younger teammates who are eager to please/impress.)
So many more things.
Predators have been running rampant in sports long before an age grid even existed. The age grid will never be flawless or satisfy the individual circumstances of every gym (why are 6 yr olds on Jr teams), but that's not the big issue here. There's so much predatory behavior because it often gets covered up and swept under the rug. It's getting slightly better nowadays and kids are becoming less afraid of speaking up, but obviously there's a ways to go. Not all parents have good open communication with their kids. Coaches who get fired for inappropriate behavior sometimes show up at another gym days later and are given a job. Some gyms are so desperate for qualified coaches that they will take anyone, even someone with a questionable past (who of course promises to be on their best behavior). This has been a problem in many sports. A coach might get banned from one sport and then show up in another.
If a sick person wants to prey on a cheerleader, they will find a way, regardless if they are on an open team, in a position of power as a coach, a former cheerleader, a relative of a cheerleader, etc. The worst problem is probably that adults can connect with children so easily online, and ages get blurred when everyone is hiding behind the anonymity of the internet. Also, every kid has the privacy of a cell phone/texting, whereas back in the day you used to have to use Mom and Dad's phone line to talk to people. You mentioned team group chats--- sometimes adult coaches are in those chats too. Inappropriate relationships form in secret, not in cheerleading chats of 25 people, so I don't see that as a big concern.
I'm assuming most Open teams in the US are predominantly high school kids with maybe a few kids around college age (not very different from a Senior team that might have a couple college freshmen or even a college sophomore who hasn't aged out yet). I'm guessing there are very few 27+ year olds actually in allstar cheerleading. You're looking at the Open age range of 14+ and assuming that 14 yr olds are cheering with 40 yr olds, but most kids do indeed leave this sport by the time they're out of college. Maybe if you go to a mega gym you'll find some older people, but in the vast majority of gyms, there are very few instances of kids hanging onto the sport for that long (unless perhaps they also coach, which means they're already in the gym interacting with children to begin with). If you change Open teams to 18+, that's basically a college team, and there are likely very few gyms that could actually make a sustainable Worlds team out of strictly college kids.
And let's not forget that most adults are normal and would never prey on children. If you look at a sport like diving, there are competitors ranging from age 14 to 30+ in the Olympics. If you have the skills, you can compete in the Senior level regardless of if you are a teenager or an adult. This is normal for a "real sport". You're not going to stop predators by changing the age grid/uniforms/telling girls to stop acting older than they are. You're going to stop predators but stopping predators instead of covering up and ignoring their behavior.
Another one bites the dust. This is all so sad. I hate that the sport my girls love has so many sex scandals and gets a bad name to outsiders. So sad. (We live in a rather small cheer part of the country and we had two scandals in a year a couple of years ago. It's so sad).
People tend to want to isolate situations to the things they know, but social media has truly opened up and exposed the naivete of our children and us parents. Once my kids were out of HS, they began opening up on what is really going on behind the scenes. No phone? Grounded? Not allowed on certain social media? No problem. Friends share old devices, or they find a forgotten device. If your wifi notifies you of new log ins, they'd just wait until a friend is over and ask for the wifi password for "their friend's device." They set up social media under fake names. Location services on, because they want to see where all of their 2000+ "friends" are at all times. My kids said they could hand me their phones any time without fear and meanwhile have a device with thousands of DM's on another device. They said it was very common for kids to be on dating apps "just for fun."
The old avenues of sports, church, school, neighbors, family, friends are still a problem, but now it has expanded to an entire world and they have 24/7 access to your kid's and their friend's. Find your old devices, check to see what devices are logged into your wifi, and pull up and discuss the endless articles on pedophiles and their blackmailing tactics. I thought I was so on top of my kid's social media, texts, emails, etc and they let me know not only was I naive, but how lucky they were considering all the stupid things they and their friend's were doing.
Another coach who is involved with Cheer Athletics and Navarro cheer charged! People are coming forward!!!
I work with early college students and have one myself (my CP started college classes at 12 and will be living on campus next fall at 16). Honestly, most college students are, if anything, protective of the younger students, and many of our girls have reported LESS inappropriate comments, conduct, etc than they experienced in high school.
Having said that, a big thing that we drill into our kids’ heads when they start the program is that they are not legally at the same point. They cannot consent even if they really like the other person and are attracted to them and feel it is mutual. Therefore, it is important for them to draw that line from the start. We set down rules on group chats, group meetings, etc-and provide adults who can be looped in and supervise, and incentives that make it palatable for the college students to be willing to meet their study group in the EC suite (copiers, internet access, large supplies of school and craft supplies, specialized tech, and a filled snack basket and fridge helps a lot). Most schools that have residential EC have special dorms just for those students and other students cannot be allowed in, and EC students are not allowed in other dorms, and usually the minimum age is 16 to live on campus. And they usually have an adult house parent, not a barely adult RA. We provide the academic access, but we keep in mind that our students are kids.
We also drill into our kids heads that if they are in a place where alcohol is present, even if they are not drinking, their presence can cause problems legally for the adult students present. If they are drinking, and the police show up, well, fraternity houses have been shut down for less. So it is their responsibility to stay out of/leave such situations not just for their own protection but that of others. The Greek houses and similar organizations are given a similar message. Basically, you can be friends with the younger students, but you don't do anything with them that you w9uldn't do with your little brother or sister. If Mom wouldn't approve, don't do it with the teens-do it with your similar age friends.
We also really, really try to place at least two kids in each class/group so they have someone to spend time with that has the same restrictions.
This is something I see lacking in the Cheer world. Talented kids deserve to be on a team at their level, just like our kids who have exhausted high school classes deserve multivariate calculus or whatever. But there needs to be an awareness that these kids are still kids and cannot be social peers of their teammates, and supervision provided accordingly. For senior teams, that means superseniors have to accept being treated as high school kids one more year. For open teams, it means that the 14 yr old flyer isn't going to be hanging out and partying with their teammates-and that there shouldn't be just one high school age kid on a given team.
Does this protect from everything? Absolutely not, especially with social media in the loop. But it does help.
A coach and athlete at cheer Athletics, who also cheered with Navarro has also been arrested. His bond has already been posted, and taken care of and he is currently out of jail. The individuals name is Mitch Ryan, I don’t see any point in hiding who the sexual predator is because honestly they all need to be exposed.
I am so happy people are starting to come forward, I know personally how hard and difficult it can be.
Seeing that 2 gentlemen connected to Navarro (names: a Mitch something and an Andy Cosferent) have been arrested on sexual assault charges. The article I saw had very little info other than the fact that they have also cheered/coached at CA at some point. No mention of who the victims are, if they connected through cheer at the school or gym, their ages, etc. I can't copy the link for some reason on my phone.
Disgusting. But I am all for people contacting the authorities instead of just letting it go.
As parents, coaches, and gym owners, we are saddened by recent news involving allegations of sexual misconduct by several individuals in the cheer industry. Cheer Athletics does not tolerate this behavior and we remain steadfast in our commitment to protect athletes and children.
To that end, when allegations against former CA Plano coach Mitch Ryan were first brought to our attention last year, we immediately terminated his employment, filed a report with the appropriate legal authorities, and filed an additional report with USASF’s SafeSport program. To the best of our knowledge, the alleged victim was not affiliated with CA.
With respect to the arrest of Robert Scianna, we first learned of the allegations made against him through media reports yesterday. While he was previously featured on our website as a result of his position as a model for our uniform vendor, his image was removed a few weeks ago as part of a website update.
Both of these individuals had passed background checks.
Today, as always, we stand ready to cooperate with all law enforcement and will continue to take proactive measures to ensure the safety of our athletes.
Separate names with a comma.