It has taken too long by all accounts, but longtime AAU youth volleyball coach Rick Butler has finally been banned from leading youth programs in the association for the claims of sexual abuse that have been leveled against him, per the Chicago Sun-Times and other outlets nationwide.
Butler, one of the most powerful youth volleyball coaches, is based out of Aurora, Ill. He has long been dogged by allegations of sexual abuse against his players, including a ban on coaching junior volleyball teams affiliated with USA Volleyball, the sports national governing body.
Despite the USA Volleyball ban, Butler was always allowed to continue coaching in the powerful AAU ranks … at least until Saturday, when the organization finally came down hard on a coach who some fear could have far more than the five alleged victims who have come forward to speak out against him.
“I’m just floored,” Sarah Powers-Barnard, one of the victims who had filed a lawsuit against their failure to act on Butler’s alleged sexual misconduct, told the Sun-Times. “I’ve been battling and battling.”
Another proclaimed victim was more direct in just what Butler’s sudden ban truly means:
“It’s just a huge relief that we’re helping to get him away from other innocent girls that potentially he could abuse,” Julie Romias told the Sun-Times.