USA Today ran a column Friday night by Erik Brady calling on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be kept away from coaching children even if he is cleared of the last minute uncorroborated allegations of sexual assault that have stalled his nomination. President Trump ordered a new FBI investigation into Kavanaugh Friday afternoon, noting later that this will be his seventh FBI background check, all of which Kavanaugh passed without a blemish of any kind on his record.
Kavanaugh is a coach of girls basketball teams, including his daughter’s. NPR reported when he was nominated in July:
“…He also coached the fourth- through sixth-grade girls basketball teams at Blessed Sacrament, as well as a Montgomery County Recreation girls basketball team and the Classics AAU second grade girls basketball team.”
A neighbor, Julie O’Brien, wrote in the Washington Post
Much has been written about Brett Kavanaugh as President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, but the discussion has focused on his record as a federal judge and in his legal career. I’d like to talk about him as Coach K. Like the one at Duke University, this Coach K also is a mentor to student-athletes who love basketball. But his players are sixth-grade girls.
Brett’s older daughter and mine have been classmates at Blessed Sacrament School, a small Catholic school in the District, for the past seven years. On evenings and weekends, you’re likely to find Brett at a local gym or athletic field, encouraging his players or watching games with his daughters and their friends. He coaches not one but two girls’ basketball teams. His positive attitude and calm demeanor make the game fun and allow each player to shine. The results have been good: This past season, he led the Blessed Sacrament School’s sixth-grade girls team to an undefeated season and a citywide championship in the local Catholic youth league. To the parents with players on the squad, it’s no surprise that the team photograph with the trophy is displayed prominently in his chambers.
USA Today is promoting the column on Twitter with the statement, “From
@usatodaysports: “The U.S. Senate may yet confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but he should stay off basketball courts for now when kids are around,” writes @ByErikBrady .” A photo of Kavanaugh with his daughter’s team is added for emphasis.
Brady’s USA Today article reports that Kavanaugh has a clean record and is still qualified to coach, but still wants Kavanaugh barred from coaching kids:
Brett Kavanaugh testified the other day that he might never coach girls’ basketball again.
He shouldn’t – at least not until further investigation has concluded.
The U.S. Senate may yet confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, but he should stay off basketball courts for now when kids are around…
…Kavanaugh is free to continue coaching in the Catholic Youth Organization and his daughters’ private school in Washington, according to Edward McFadden, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington. He said a coach accused of sexual misconduct would have to go through the full legal process and be convicted before being banned.
McFadden told USA TODAY Sports’ A.J. Perez on Friday that “adult volunteers with extensive contact with children” go through fingerprinting, criminal background checks and training under what is called the VIRTUS program.
“The person is VIRTUS-trained,” McFadden said of Kavanaugh, “and has gone through a background check, which was clean.”
Yet Brady concludes his column with an appeal to ban Kavanaugh from coaching girls basketball.
The nation is deeply divided. Sometimes it feels like we don’t agree on anything anymore. But credibly accused sex offenders should not coach youth basketball, girls or boys, without deeper investigation. Can’t we all agree on that?
Brady and USA Today were eviscerated on Twitter. A sample: