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Prep Voices

October 03, 1995

Three Orange County high school coaches have been arrested in the past 18 months on charges of unlawful sexual acts with minors. In interviews with The Times last week, local athletic administrators, coaches, athletes and parents gave a variety of opinions about the prevalence of such allegations.

"We always read our coaches the riot act before we hire them."

--Dave Auxier, Los Amigos athletic director

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"Coaches are here to help and not ruin people's lives."

--Koo Kim, Costa Mesa junior basketball player

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"Some coaches like to say, 'We are family;' yes, you counsel and console in the nature of a person who cares, but not as a parent. . . . I am the coach and you are the athlete. We still have to keep some distance."

--Rex Ressler, Santiago cross-country coach

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"Coaches and teachers we hold to a higher standard for their moral conduct because they are working with young people who are still impressionable, and I would hate to see the day that we don't hold them to that higher standard."

--Robert Francy, Newport-Mesa Unified Assistant Superintendent

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"We try and contact as many people as we can [for references]. We're not going to follow the coach around for three weeks. Maybe we should."

--Jerry Jelnick, Corona del Mar athletic director

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"I don't know how you would do a better job of screening. You don't ask those kinds of questions in interviews, 'Do you date your students?' "

--Dennis Creighton, Edison girls' volleyball coach

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