Nightly News | December 10, 2011
LESTER HOLT, anchor: Back here at home, one of the country's largest youth sports groups confirms to NBC News that it has asked police to look into allegations of child sex abuse against its now former president. The news comes on the heels of investigations of coaches at Penn State and Syracuse , prompting an uptick in abuse reports in a number of states. NBC 's Jay Gray reports.
JAY GRAY reporting: The prestigious Amateur Athletic Union , one the largest sports organizations in the nation, home to more than 500,000 young athletes, has been rocked tonight by shocking allegations that Bobby Dodd , the man who has led the organization for nearly two decades, sexually abused AAU athletes.
Mr. RALPH WEST (Alleged Victim): That was his MO was coming in in the middle of night when you were asleep and trying to assault you.
GRAY: At least two men, who as teenagers played on teams coached by Dodd , say he attacked them during team road trips in the '80s. One of Dodd 's accusers spoke with ESPN .
Mr. WEST: I was dead asleep and I don't remember anything but waking up and he has his -- he's trying to put his hand in my boxer shorts. And I jumped up, straight out of the bed, and he's not there, but he's laying on the floor next to me down by the bed.
GRAY: NBC News has been unable to reach Dodd for comment on the accusations, but can confirm tonight he's been replaced as the president and CEO of the organization. The AAU is taking the allegations seriously and cooperating with Memphis police who are also investigating. Experts say the string of high-profile public accusations over the last couple of months have empowered other potential victims to come forward. In fact, in the week after the Penn State scandal broke, calls to a state child abuse hotline doubled, while reports to a national hotline have now grown by 54 percent.
Dr. JEFF GARDERE (Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine): I believe this is truly the tip of the iceberg in reporting. Victims who have not reported anything, primarily because of shame, now feel that they're no longer alone.
GRAY: Comfort in numbers for the alleged victims. Numbers that also drive the concern for so many in the communities affected. Jay Gray, NBC News, State College , Pennsylvania.