In 2014, CNBC reported that at least 35 million kids between 5 and 18 play an organized sport in the U.S. The same report estimated that the youth sports movement had become a $7 billion industry in travel alone. Whether its baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse, swimming, volleyball or gymnastics, there are an estimated 14,000 youth sports organizations in the U.S. that take in annual revenue of near $9 billion, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics.
While the majority of coaches, directors and boards governing public and private athletic clubs are driven by the purity of competition, skill development and teamwork, sometimes a bad moment occurs when a coach or club administrator demonstrates unfair treatment or bias.
Embezzlement, pay-for-play and unethical recruiting practices have made the news in dozens of communities and parents have had very little leverage in fighting for fair treatment. With annual budgets up to $250,000, cases have been reported where board members and sometimes coaches of youth sports clubs have been prosecuted for lining their pockets: $220,000 in Washington, $431,000 in Minnesota, and $560,000 in New Jersey to name a few. These are just a few of cases that have been made public. There are dozens and dozens of cases that have settled out of court.
In the past five years, there have been hundreds of arrests and convictions in 43 states involving 15 sports, based on a study of news accounts compiled by The Center for Fraud Prevention.
In 2014, managing partner William A. Munck and his family reached a settlement of their claims against Dallas Lacrosse Academy, LLC (also known as Coast2Coast Lacrosse or C2C Lacrosse) and a number of its coaches in two lawsuits. All parties entered into a confidential settlement agreement so the details of the lawsuit cannot be disclosed but the end result demonstrated that parents do have an advocate for their cause if they believe that they or their children have been exposed to corruption in youth sports.
Since that lawsuit on behalf of his son, Mr. Munck has received numerous calls from parents locally and nationally who are seeking his advice for their own battles facing a private school, college or sports club that is demonstrating unfair treatment or discrimination to their young athlete. This is an injustice that is near to Mr. Munck’s heart and having experienced this first hand, he is an advocate who wants to help parents fight against corruption and unfair treatment. Mr. Munck has developed a practice focused on representing clients who face unethical conduct or discrimination related to educational or sports entities.
MWM services include:
- Conflicts of interest with private club coaches coaching high school teams
- Embezzlement and “pay to play” lawsuits
- Discrimination in ISD athletic programs
- Unethical conduct strategies