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Most CPS Coaches Lack Proper Certification

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Chicago Public Schools

(Credit: CBS)

Dorothy Tucker Dorothy Tucker
Dorothy Tucker has served as a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago since 1984....
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CHICAGO (CBS) -- Do you know who’s coaching your kids?

Sports experts tell CBS 2 that 8 out of every 10 Chicago Public Schools coaches do not have the required certification. Dorothy Tucker reports how that could have an impact on every student.

Patricia Jones is still upset with Fenger High School’s head coach, Cassius Chambers. She accuses him of standing outside her home and watching her son, Darion, get beaten by football players.

Chambers was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing and allowed to return to Fenger. But CBS 2 has learned Chambers is missing a required coaching certification.

“Had he been trained he would have known that that’s not what you do,” Jones says.

That training is provided by the American Sports Education Program, ASEP. CPS is a partner with the association that requires non-faculty coaches to pass three courses.

The problem, according to John Mayer of the Ethical Youth Foundation, is that “a good 75 to 80 percent of all these coaches are people who are not trained, not certified, maybe even not qualified to be in the lives of our children.”

Prosser assistant coaches Tom Cipriani and Johnathan Manning, who were charged with battery in connection with the hazing of a 14-year-old football player, didn’t have the ASEP certification.

Back in 2008, Marshall’s coach Courtney Hargrays and Morgan Park’s Mandel Oliver were fired for allegedly paddling student athletes. They also lacked ASEP certification.

And when CBS2 did a random check of more than 100 coaches from numerous sports, less than three dozen appeared on ASEP’s list.

Mayer says it is important coaches learn how to manage students and deal with problems.

Sources tell CBS 2 that CPS is aware it has a problem with too many coaches not having ASEP certification.

CPS officials say all coaches must submit to a criminal background check, take an online training course with the state’s child-welfare agency and complete 12 hours of character training.

According to the Illinois High School Association, coaches not certified could face probation or suspension.

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