Parents of boys on a youth basketball team reportedly helped a coach circumvent background checks, enabling a convicted offender to interact with minors and commit another crime

By Michael Klazema on 5/9/2013

While mandatory background checks for school employees, coaches, child care personnel and other individuals who may have contact with minors as part of their job are certainly useful, sometimes determined offenders can find a way around them. This is particularly true when it comes to private activities where oversight may be lacking and background check requirements become difficult to enforce.

One example of this problem comes from the state of Virginia, where a convicted offender repeatedly gained access to minors by coaching in private youth basketball leagues.

The offender, Antwain Fletcher, has two worrisome convictions on his record. The first one is a sexual battery conviction from 2010. This conviction is related to an incident involving a 17-year-old player that Fletcher was coaching at the time. In 2012, Fletcher was again convicted of a crime against a minor, namely taking indecent liberties. This minor in this case was 15 years old. Following this conviction Fletcher spent four months in jail.

A background check should have revealed the first conviction and prevented Fletcher from coaching again and having the opportunity to commit the second crime. For example, a national criminal search across multiple jurisdictions using a product like US OneSEARCH from could have returned the first conviction, even though the incident took place in the neighboring state of North Carolina and Fletcher was coaching in Virginia. US OneSEARCh includes offender registries from every state.

However, Fletcher was able to avoid background checks by starting his own basketball team after his first conviction. This meant that he did not have any oversight from a school or other sponsoring organization. The local Amateur Athletic Union didn’t require background checks on coaches until 2012, so Fletcher was able to register his team for AAU events without a problem.

Parents were aware that Fletcher had been denied certification from the NCAA after failing a background check. Yet, buoyed by Fletcher’s promises that he could get basketball scholarships for their kids by having them play in tournaments that college recruiters attend regularly, the parents ignored the problem. Some parents even helped Fletcher out by registering his team for certain events in their own names, to prevent Fletcher’s criminal background from interfering with their kids’ chance at a scholarship.

After the second incident and conviction, parents no doubt felt betrayed by Fletcher and chagrined by their own complicity in helping him to coach minors and participate in various events. This story just goes to show that just having a policy that requires background checks is not enough. All individuals involved in the process must be fully committed to it and unwilling to help people like Antwain Fletcher slip through the cracks.

In the end, a background check is only valuable if people consistently execute it, know how to interpret it correctly and actually use that information to keep kids safe. If Fletcher had only had arrests on his record, the parents’ actions could have been explained away. After all, arrests are not proof of guilt and can’t legally be used as a sole deciding factor in denying someone employment opportunities. However, Fletcher had convictions that solidly indicated guilt. These convictions would have been revealed by a background check and should have been taken more seriously.


Founded during the Internet boom in 1999 by an executive in both the staffing and information industry, – a founding member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – has been able to create a service that provides a blend of flexible screening programs that included instant, cost effective and comprehensive solutions. Our experience in database modeling of public records information has led to become the leader in the acquisition and delivery of public records information by harnessing the power and technology of the Internet. To learn more visit



Tag Cloud
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 20 The #MeToo movement is bringing about legislative changes employers need to know about. We review some of the laws recently passed in California.
  • November 19

    Will a criminal conviction show up on your background check forever? In most states, there is a year limit for how long background check companies can report older criminal information.

  • November 15

    Replacing an inconsistent array of procedures, Ontario's government has passed into law a reform act intended to clarify how police departments should handle requests for information to be used in background checks. 

  • November 14 The federal government has vowed to cut its backlog of security clearance background checks in half by spring. Currently, the backlog is approximately 600,000 names strong.
  • November 12 To ensure the best hires, DFWSPF has implemented a stringent employee screening process—one that includes background searches through