MUSC Protecting Youth Athletes from Sexual Abuse

On February 14th, 2018, the President signed the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017 which is aimed at protecting youth amateur athletes from sexual abuse. A youth amateur athlete is any child or minor under the age of 18 enaged in amateur athletics. The full legislation is available for download (click here) and additional information may be found on the U.S. Center for Safe Sport fact sheet:

This Law has a four pronged approach for protecting youth amateur athletes:

  1. Any adult interacting with amateur athletes in the program has a duty to report abuse and or suspected abuse within a 24 hour period.
  2. Extends the statute of limitations for up to 10 years after a victim realizes he or she was abused.
  3. Limits an athlete under the age of 18 from being alone with an adult who is not their parent or guardian.
  4. Prohibits retaliation against someone making a report of suspected abuse.

In order to meet the requirements of this legislation and to protect our youth athletes, the Morris United Soccer Club has adopted six specific policy areas to protect youth athletes from abuse:

  1. Enforcing a written application and background checks for all Morris United Soccer Club coaches, trainers, volunteers and other staff.
  2. Reporting suspected abuse;
  3. Limiting one on one interaction between Morris United Soccer Club adults and youth athletes;
  4. Requiring all adult volunteers to abide by the Morris United Soccer Club "Coach's Code of Conduct"
  5. Prohibiting retaliation against individuals who report suspected abuse; and
  6. Education and training of staff to raise awareness of abuse

Enforcing Background Checks

All coaches, trainers, volunteers, officers and other staff involved with the Morris United Soccer Club must complete a written (online) application that sets forth appropriate background information, and requires disclosure of any prior crimes or activities which may be detrimental to the health and well-being of a minor child.

Background checks are to be completed every year for each adult volunteer, coach, trainer or other staff member via an online registration which includes authorization for a background check to be completed.

Individuals are only authorized to work with the Morris United Soccer Club once there application has been approved and a background check has been successfully completed.

Reporting Suspected Abuse

Reporting Sexual or Physical Abuse and Neglect

Morris United Soccer Club's officers, trainers, coaches and other volunteers MUST report a reasonable suspicion of Sexual or Physical abuse or Neglect within a 24 hour period of awareness.

The report should be made to:

  1. Local Law Enforcement
  • Morris Township Police Department: (973) 539-0777
  • Morristown Police Department: (973) 292-6614
  • Morris Plains Police Department: (973) 538-2284
  1. State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF)
  • NJ State Central Registry (SCR): (877) 652-2873

NJ Mandatory Reporting Guidelines :

  1. Morris United Soccer Club President and/or a club Vice President
  • Club President : Rocco Mastrodomenico, (973) 713-7360
  • Club Vice President: Robert "Casey" Becht, (973) 224 5986
  • Club Vice President: Jason Rees, (973) 943-0537
  1. NJ Youth Soccer State Office (National Governing Body Affiliate)
  1. US Soccer (National Governing Body)
  1. US Center for SafeSport

Once a report of sexual or physical abuse/neglect is made, the Morris United Soccer Club will take the following actions:

  1. MUSC officers will ensure full cooperation is provided to any investigating agents including local law enforcement and the NJ State Department of Children and Family Services;
  2. MUSC officers or staff will NOT conduct an internal investigation until activities by law enforcement are concluded;
  3. MUSC officers will suspend the individual(s) identified as part of the allegation and prohibit their interaction with any youth in a MUSC program until the allegation is legally resolved;

Reporting Other Forms of Abuse

Other forms of abuse and misconduct including emotional abuse, bullying, hazing or harassment should be reported to the President of Morris United Soccer Club.

Limiting One on One Interaction

Morris United Soccer Club will limit athletes from being alone with coaches, trainers, volunteers or other adult staff by:

  1. Requiring parents to be copied on all e-mails between individual athletes and any MUSC adult;
  2. Prohibiting MUSC adult staff to reach out socially to individual athletes by phone, text or social media;
  3. Requiring any "one-on-one" training or other contact between a youth athlete and coach or staff be in a highly visible location [ideally with other adults nearby];
  4. Prohibiting athletes from traveling alone with a non-parental adult;
  5. Only allowing an athlete to travel with a non-parental adult if given permission by the athlete's parent/guardian.

Requirement to Abide by Coach's Code of Conduct

All adult volunteers, coaches, trainers and staff are required to be knowledgeable of and agree to abide by the Morris United Soccer Club Coach's Code of Conduct: MUSC_Coaches_Code_of_Conduct.pdf

Prohibiting Retaliation

Morris United Soccer Club prohibits retaliation of any kind against any individual who reports suspected abuse.

Education and Training of Staff

Morris United Soccer Club requires all trainers, coaches and volunteers to take the program provided by the US Center for SafeSport and become "SafeSport Trained". The "SafeSport Trained" curriculum is a three subject course which takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. It is mandatory for all staff involved with the Morris United Soccer Club to complete this training.