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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tue Feb 06, 2007, 08:19am
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Question Background Checks

Okay, this was beat up quite a bit in a previous post. My question concerns the cost of these background checks (hence, a different post). For those associations/organizations whose officials are having background checks done on them, who is paying? My concern is, if schools/leagues start mandating these background checks, then do I as an official have to pay for this check, or should the schools/leagues pay (or at least share the cost)?

Remember, this post just covers the cost of these checks. Nothing about legal/illegal, privacy invasions, etc. I think that was WELL discussed in the earlier post.

Thanks!

Serg
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Old Tue Feb 06, 2007, 09:21am
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Here in the Atlanta area, one agency passed a resolution requiring all officials in the youth programs to undergo background checks. The several organizations serving their softball programs advised that 1) this would seriously curtail the available pool of umpires, because we anticipated a substantial rate of refusal, 2) this would make "borrowing" umpires from other associations an impossibility, so they should anticipate times without coverage with that policy, 3) the umpires who would grant permission would not pay for their decision to require this. The best part of the "resolution" was that this agency ran the fields, but had independent youth associations who ran the leagues, so they were mandating this requirement (and expense) to others to implement.

Since that time, the youth association I contracted with disbanded, so I have no first hand knowledge of any further action. I do work (and so do others in my association) at youth tournaments held by that agency, and none of us have been asked to agree to background checks. I suspect that means the other umpire association that handles the contract directly with that agency either refused, or made it so difficult and costly to the agency that it reconsidered its position. In this case, they may have been in a position of having to run programs and tournaments without ANY umpires, because the umpires were NOT going to pay.
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Old Tue Feb 06, 2007, 10:43am
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A BGC is NOT required by our local ASA yet, but is required of every official in NY State to officiate school (Section) games. This one time cost is $100 (3 years ago)and is paid by the official.

We have had a few ASA and PONY tournaments who requested only umpires from Section, but I'm not sure that was a BGC issue.
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Old Wed Feb 07, 2007, 10:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SergioJ
Okay, this was beat up quite a bit in a previous post. My question concerns the cost of these background checks (hence, a different post). For those associations/organizations whose officials are having background checks done on them, who is paying? My concern is, if schools/leagues start mandating these background checks, then do I as an official have to pay for this check, or should the schools/leagues pay (or at least share the cost)?

Remember, this post just covers the cost of these checks. Nothing about legal/illegal, privacy invasions, etc. I think that was WELL discussed in the earlier post.

Thanks!

Serg
I am surprised that other Florida HS umpires haven't chimed in on this subject.

In 2005, Florida passed the Jessica Lunsford Act. (She was kidnapped and murdered by a sexual predator a few years ago.) One of the consequences is that HS officials are required to have background checks and have special photo IDs with them when they arrive at any school.

In the Panhandle, the Lunsford clearance costs $105.00 and the clearance is good for five years. In almost every case, the officials foot the bill. FHSAA will refund $34.00 for first year offcials.
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Old Wed Feb 07, 2007, 12:35pm
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A few years ago, I joined a local high school as a volunteer assistant baseball coach. I had to get clearance from the local law enforcement agency (sheriff's department). The fee, including fingerprinting, was a whopping $10.00.

Bob
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Old Wed Feb 07, 2007, 02:15pm
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Here in SW FL we all registered and were fingerprinted at a cost
of (I thnk) $60, which was picked up by FHSAA and our local school board.
That was in the fall of 2005 and for football we were issued an ID tag of sorts. No one ever asked me for my ID at any time. When softball season 2006 rolled around, I was good to go as I had registered for football.
When football season last year (2006) came returning officials did not have to do anything, and the same for this 2007 softball season. I don't recall anyone saying anything about an expiration date for our registration.
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Old Wed Feb 07, 2007, 02:19pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWFLguy
Here in SW FL we all registered and were fingerprinted at a cost
of (I thnk) $60, which was picked up by FHSAA and our local school board.
That was in the fall of 2005 and for football we were issued an ID tag of sorts. No one ever asked me for my ID at any time. When softball season 2006 rolled around, I was good to go as I had registered for football.
When football season last year (2006) came returning officials did not have to do anything, and the same for this 2007 softball season. I don't recall anyone saying anything about an expiration date for our registration.
Did your association dues go up to offset the cost?

Our local association is looking into doing this, but trying to get as much info as possible before doing it. Have heard that some schools will mandate this in their new contracts, but not all schools are still on board with this yet. But can see this coming in the very near future for all schools.

Thanks everybody for all the info.

Serg
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Old Wed Feb 07, 2007, 02:29pm
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This is the area where I personally have the issue with this whole idea. I don't have an issue with having a background check done, I have nothing to hide. I understand the point that this does not ensure everyone is good as several others have pointed out in the last thread on this topic. I also understand everyones right to freedom, I just feel that if it does keep one incident from happening then it is worth it. Again just my feeling, this is the USA so everyone has a right to their own opinion.

More to this post my issue with this is the cost of these checks. I have a real issue paying for this myself. I have nothing to hide but this I feel is a guilty until proven innocent and I have to pay to prove I am innocent then I have an issue with it. And personally I don't think there is an organization out there that has an overage in $$ that they can afford to pay for this, whether it is $10 or $100 an official without raising association/registration fees. Which in turn means I am still paying for it!!!!!
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Old Wed Feb 07, 2007, 02:30pm
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I am in the Tampa area, and the cost to us is entirely out of our pocket.
Different counties have dealt differently with this issue.
Our association (local) keeps its dues very low and thus we have no money to help out with the cost.
the state association (FHSAA) does give a rebate on first year officials on the normal registration fees. This also included all of us having to have it done last year.
The background check is good for five years as best I can remember, so the cost isn't so bad.
However, every county in the state charges a different rate, and some counties tried to make you have the check done in each county you worked in.
Not a problem for most of our umps as we have 27 or 28 public high schools thus you dont need to cross county lines unless you want to.
this has supposedly been straightened out but time will tell.
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Old Wed Feb 07, 2007, 03:34pm
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Y'all know where I stand on this, but be assured, if someone wants to do a BI on me, they can pay for it.
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Old Wed Feb 07, 2007, 05:47pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveASA/FED
... I don't have an issue with having a background check done, ..., I just feel that if it does keep one incident from happening then it is worth it.
Even though it's not supposed to be in this topic, I just can't let this go without expressing my disgust and denial of anything that further erodes freedom or privacy.

If I believed it ok, or was willing to accept it, payment would be a factor only as a matter of principle that whoever wants it should pay, as long as it was a fair reimbursement of cost.
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Old Thu Feb 08, 2007, 12:01pm
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Exclamation The Polcy Argument for and Against

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottk_61
I am in the Tampa area, and the cost to us is entirely out of our pocket.... This also included all of us having to have it done last year.
And as a result, how many Umpires were found to be molesters and felons? It really is a scare response to perhaps some incident involving one bad apple out of thousands of hard working Umpires. If we follow this logic, then people who work in stores where teenagers also work should all have background checks. All employees of movie theaters, football and baseball stadiums, gas stations, supermarkets, etc., should have BIs because they work with or have close proximity to teenagers. This is bad policy based upon a scare response to an isolated incidence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottk_61
The background check is good for five years...
o.k., Again, this supports the "it's bad policy" argument. It will not catch the person who, two days after the BI check, goes out and molests five children, a sixty year old, and five cats. For those who say that this policy is worth it to catch the one out of 1000, then your policy should be weekly BI checks with access to all state databases. Ugh!

I am supprised that the Umps down there seemed to take this so easily. We should each be suspicious of any further erosion of our rights to privacy. The best check on bad Umpire behavior is the coaches, parents and kids.

No Umpire should be alone with a child on a field or gymnasium. If that is the case, where is the coach or parent. When my girls were playing elite travel SB, the coaches always had a buddy rule: no player could go anywhere without another player (i.e. bathroom or snack stand) and they had to check in and out with the team manager or one of the coaches. This was true for indoor winter practices too.

'Nuff said.
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Old Thu Feb 08, 2007, 03:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MA Softball Ump
And as a result, how many Umpires were found to be molesters and felons? It really is a scare response to perhaps some incident involving one bad apple out of thousands of hard working Umpires. If we follow this logic, then people who work in stores where teenagers also work should all have background checks. All employees of movie theaters, football and baseball stadiums, gas stations, supermarkets, etc., should have BIs because they work with or have close proximity to teenagers. This is bad policy based upon a scare response to an isolated incidence.



o.k., Again, this supports the "it's bad policy" argument. It will not catch the person who, two days after the BI check, goes out and molests five children, a sixty year old, and five cats. For those who say that this policy is worth it to catch the one out of 1000, then your policy should be weekly BI checks with access to all state databases. Ugh!

I am supprised that the Umps down there seemed to take this so easily. We should each be suspicious of any further erosion of our rights to privacy. The best check on bad Umpire behavior is the coaches, parents and kids.

No Umpire should be alone with a child on a field or gymnasium. If that is the case, where is the coach or parent. When my girls were playing elite travel SB, the coaches always had a buddy rule: no player could go anywhere without another player (i.e. bathroom or snack stand) and they had to check in and out with the team manager or one of the coaches. This was true for indoor winter practices too.

'Nuff said.
We had not one umpire rejected from this policy.
I agree that this is bad policy, we didn't take it lying down.
We went to our elected representitives, the media and other associations.
It didn't do any good to voice our concerns.
Actually, we initiated a round table discussions with our representitives, and though we got favorable reactions the momentum was overwhelming.
Most of the different sports associations in this area had someone present and we were listened to.
One local representitive to our state house has introduced a change to the law but with no luck.
Incidentily, we had 0%, none, nada response or help from the Democrats in this area that we contacted.........hmmmm..........wonder why?
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Old Thu Feb 08, 2007, 06:52pm
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I see that some politicians are now considering enacting laws governing the weight of fashion models. You see, our astute legislators are aware that a model who's too skinny is a poor role model and will cause kids to starve themselves and lose self-esteem and become drug addicts, etc.

Maybe we umpires (even if we pass the background check) will be next on the "their-weight-is-a-bad-example-for-kids" agenda. I know I could lose some weight, as could quite number of guys I work with.

I even know one ump who the social engineers would say is too thin. In fact, he's about 75 now and has been a perfectly healthy skinny all his life. He was also a fine athlete. However, his body mass index is below 18, which is the cutoff someone suggested for models.
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Old Thu Feb 08, 2007, 10:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SergioJ
Remember, this post just covers the cost of these checks. Nothing about legal/illegal, privacy invasions, etc. I think that was WELL discussed in the earlier post.

Thanks!

Serg
Say, Serg, how's this working out so far?
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