YMCA vows internal Bobby Dodd inquiry

Updated: December 14, 2011, 1:32 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The YMCA of Memphis and the mid-South says its officials have no record or recollections of any complaints against Robert "Bobby" Dodd during the time he worked there before he left in 1992 and went on to become president and chief executive officer of the Amateur Athletic Union.

YMCA officials issued a statement Tuesday sent first to The Commercial Appeal.

"We are taking this matter very seriously and will continue to conduct our own investigation internally," they say in the statement.

The YMCA confirms Dodd worked there from the 1980s until 1992. The statement notes background and reference checks, screening and training of all staff and volunteers have been required for at least 20 years.

ESPN's Tom Farrey reported Friday that two former players have accused Dodd of molesting them in the 1980s. One of the players, 43-year-old Ralph West, told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" he was assaulted in Memphis in 1984. The AAU has confirmed that it is investigating the claims, which date to the 1980s.

AAU Acting President Louis Stout has said that the 63-year-old Dodd has colon cancer and will not return to his positions as president and executive director.

Dodd did not respond to ESPN's multiple requests Thursday and Friday for comment about the abuse allegations.

The Associated Press left a message Tuesday afternoon on a phone number listed at a Florida address for Dodd.

West alleges a sequence of inappropriate touching of him by Dodd, masturbation by Dodd in front of him at Dodd's Memphis home, the AAU Junior Olympics in South Bend, Ind., and tournaments in Florida, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Memphis deputy chief Dave Martello told Farrey that police could not file charges without a formal complaint lodged by an alleged victim of Dodd. But West told "Outside the Lines" he spoke with Memphis police for the first time Monday and that he would "probably" file a formal criminal complaint against Dodd if asked.

"I gave them a statement over the phone," West told "Outside the Lines." "I told them about the voyeurism, the hair, everything. They're telling me they're investigating, and they'll get back to me in a couple of days."

West said he wasn't asked during the phone call to file a complaint -- surprising to him because he watched the press conference live on the Internet and Martello "seemed to be sending a smoke signal" that that's what police need to pursue a formal investigation that could lead to charges

West said on Tuesday he doesn't plan to sue Dodd and said the publicity of the case has served his purpose.

"If somebody wanted to lock him up, that would suit me fine," The Associated Press quoted him as saying. "(But) I'm not really, at this point, it's not about revenge and maliciousness. What I wanted was him away from the kids."

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN Enterprise Unit reporter Tom Farrey was used in this report.

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