After Coaching Scandals, the Importance of Background Checks Come to Light

By Michael Klazema on 12/18/2011

In the past month, there have been several instances of coaches being accused of sexually explicit crimes against the children they are supposed to be teaching and encouraging. What this has done is caused a huge increase in the amount of criminal record checks being done on those men and women who work so closely with our children. As an employer of these coaches, or anyone for that matter, the importance of looking at employee backgrounds can make a big impact on how your organization is seen by the public and can prevent others from getting hurt.

Choosing to hire a company to perform background checks for your organization will not only make you a more responsible organization, it will help protect you from these types of scandals that may come your way. When you are proactive about things like checking the personal criminal records of your potential employees, you will not only have a staff that you can feel comfortable with, you can very possibly prevent instances like those that have happened at Penn State and Syracuse in recent weeks. Even if you do not specifically deal with coaches, there are very extraordinary benefits to having a company provide background check policy in place for both your employees and contractors.

When you look at these cases in more detail, it is very clear that had thorough background checks been performed, things could have turned out differently. The backlash against Penn State and Syracuse could certainly have been prevented. The frightening fact remains that these instances happen more often than any of us care to know. These recent cases were only brought to the forefront due to the notoriety of the accused.

Before hiring coaches or volunteer, you have every right to require a background check on them and companies like can provide a multitude of products to help you find the information you are seeking before allowing strangers to be in close contact with children. One of these products is the US Offender OneSEARCH which will search the offender registries in 49 US states, which include sex offenses. Though it is true that not every person who has the potential to commit crimes such as these has been previouslyconvicted of such crimes, taking the proactive approach of running the checks before allowing volunteers or employees to be around children will, at the very least, protect the integrity of your company and add to the steps you have taken to prevent situations like this from happening in the future.

About - a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) - serves thousands of customers nationwide, from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies by providing comprehensive screening services.  Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with an Eastern Operations Center in Chapin, S.C., is home to one of the largest online criminal conviction databases in the industry. For more information about backgroundchecks’ offerings, please visit


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