Jenks Youth Coaches Use App To Keep Things 'Above Reproach'
JENKS, Oklahoma - A former Tulsa Soccer Club coach is in jail after jurors found him guilty of having inappropriate conversations with a teenage girl.
Now, coaches are using phone apps to keep things as professional as possible between them and their players.
Coach Mike Acord at Jenks said there's a fine line between having a personal relationship with your players and keeping things professional; but, he said apps help him do just that.
Some coaches at Jenks choose to use an app called "Remind 101" to communicate with their players.
"It's one that's designed for educators like ourselves," Acord said.
He said it's not only easier than trying to individually text the girls on his basketball team, it’s also faster.
"We can send out mass information quickly," Acord said. “What it does, it keeps their personal phone number anonymous…It kind of removes the awkwardness and personal situation of having to ask someone for their personal number. They don't have to give it, I don't have to give mine."
Acord said student safety is always at the forefront of any coaches' mind.
"I think we all as male teachers or male educators coaching female students, we want to try to keep ourselves out of those awkward situations and be above reproach," he said.
Acord said it's important, though, to find the line between educator and friend.
"Although you want to be personal and pour into people's lives and have a good relationship with each other, you also want to have things at arm's length and try to protect those boundaries that you have," he said.
Especially in light of recent events.
Former Tulsa Soccer Club Coach Blake Lewis was convicted of solicitation of a minor on Thursday. Lewis admitted to having inappropriate conversations on Facebook with an undercover officer who he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.
Apps like Remind remove that possibility, keeping things strictly professional.
"We can still communicate and do all the things we need to do without crossing a line that doesn't need to be crossed," Acord said.