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Dainius Zubrus and his coach, Ivan Pravilov

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05-17-2012, 06:57 PM
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narkj
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Dainius Zubrus and his coach, Ivan Pravilov

Hi, many of you may know who Ivan Pravilov is. If not, he was a fairly prominent youth hockey coach who coached Dainius Zubrus, Andrei Zyuzin, Gennady Razin and others. He as arrested in Philadelphia in January and I spent the last couple of months writing this story.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/...molester_.html

Moderators note: This article contains information that may be disturbing to some people.

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05-17-2012, 09:31 PM
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Author confirmed.

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05-17-2012, 09:39 PM
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octopi
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There;s this too...

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puc...rn=nhl,wp23067

-this is not the first time we have heard of an abusive coach. Tikhanov was also supposed to be very abusive, just controlling and vicious but not sexual. Graham james was sexual and isolated "weaker kids"
-Pravilov is dead now
-Not sure what this has to do with Zubrus. He was obviously pretty young when this guy coached him, maybe he wasn't abused and didn't know about abuse. Maybe he did and was terrified to say anything. Who knows....

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05-17-2012, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by narkj View Post
Hi, many of you may know who Ivan Pravilov is. If not, he was a fairly prominent youth hockey coach who coached Dainius Zubrus, Andrei Zyuzin, Gennady Razin and others. He as arrested in Philadelphia in January and I spent the last couple of months writing this story.

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/...molester_.html

Moderators note: This article contains information that may be disturbing to some people.
Excellent article; thank you for writing and for sharing it.

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Originally Posted by octopi View Post
There;s this too...

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puc...rn=nhl,wp23067

-this is not the first time we have heard of an abusive coach. Tikhanov was also supposed to be very abusive, just controlling and vicious but not sexual. Graham james was sexual and isolated "weaker kids"
-Pravilov is dead now
-Not sure what this has to do with Zubrus. He was obviously pretty young when this guy coached him, maybe he wasn't abused and didn't know about abuse. Maybe he did and was terrified to say anything. Who knows....
The questions that have been raised, particularly in the last two years, is what we've learned and where we go from here.

In the last two years, we've seen the outcry over Graham James having been granted a pardon, we've seen the outrage over Ivan Pravilov, and we've seen the complete collapse of Penn State football over Jerry Sandusky. We're a long way from 1999, when Sports Illustrated had a cover story on the child molesters that had found a haven in youth sports.

Hopefully, we've reached a point as a society where we see that it is entirely possible for "character-building activities" of childhood can become nightmares. Hopefully we know what to look for. And hopefully we know that the price of success at any level should never be the health and well-being of those who cannot protect themselves.

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05-17-2012, 10:19 PM
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octopi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayor Bee View Post

Hopefully, we've reached a point as a society where we see that it is entirely possible for "character-building activities" of childhood can become nightmares. Hopefully we know what to look for. And hopefully we know that the price of success at any level should never be the health and well-being of those who cannot protect themselves.
Most children/youth are abused when they are in an isolated situation with an adult or older youth in a position of trust. Children are much more likely to be abused by someone close to them or their family then a stranger.

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05-17-2012, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopi View Post
Most children/youth are abused when they are in an isolated situation with an adult or older youth in a position of trust. Children are much more likely to be abused by someone close to them or their family then a stranger.
"Someone close to them" doesn't limit it entirely to family and relatives; as we've seen countless times, it includes family friends, clergymen, coaches, and other people who are "like family".

This is the Sports Illustrated article I referenced. It was written in 1999, and does a decent job exploring some of the issues on all sides of the fence. There are the parents who trust the coach, the parents who enjoy seeing their kids having success too much to suspect (or care about) anything unseemly, the parents who insist on background checks, and so on. It also goes into the psyche of the average victim.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vau...74/1/index.htm

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05-17-2012, 11:44 PM
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Holy cow. Too bad he took the coward's way out, rather than facing the justice he deserved.

Excellent work on the article.

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05-18-2012, 02:06 AM
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Thanks.

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05-18-2012, 01:47 PM
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Well-written, sir. Thanks for sharing. I grew up playing at many of the same rinks Paviov coached at and I had no idea any of this was going on. Frightening stuff.

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05-18-2012, 02:21 PM
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Is the board that sensitive that there needs to be a warning before reading something?

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05-18-2012, 02:45 PM
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thanks for the article...chilling but sadly I think not so extraordinary

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05-18-2012, 02:53 PM
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Well written article. I've heard plenty about what a sadistic psychopath Pravilov was, but never in this much detail. It's too bad that he committed suicide, and could never be made to bear the full brunt of his crimes being exposed in a trial.

As for Zubrus himself, it sounds like he witnessed (and endured) at least some of this abuse, but as such a young kid at the time he probably felt powerless to do anything. In these situations (coaches abusing the kids), very often the players feel a lot of shame when they grow up, either for enduring the abuse, or not doing anything to stop it, and end up in denial publicly.

Side note, it's a very dark side of competitive sports culture that abuse from coaches is often allowed to go on for so long. Parents are willing to sacrifice far too much for the dream that their son could turn pro, and coaches are supposed to be hard nosed disciplinarians, so even when they cross the line into being total psychopaths people will often write it off as "tough love."

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05-18-2012, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponder View Post
Well written article. I've heard plenty about what a sadistic psychopath Pravilov was, but never in this much detail. It's too bad that he committed suicide, and could never be made to bear the full brunt of his crimes being exposed in a trial.

As for Zubrus himself, it sounds like he witnessed (and endured) at least some of this abuse, but as such a young kid at the time he probably felt powerless to do anything. In these situations (coaches abusing the kids), very often the players feel a lot of shame when they grow up, either for enduring the abuse, or not doing anything to stop it, and end up in denial publicly.

Side note, it's a very dark side of competitive sports culture that abuse from coaches is often allowed to go on for so long. Parents are willing to sacrifice far too much for the dream that their son could turn pro, and coaches are supposed to be hard nosed disciplinarians, so even when they cross the line into being total psychopaths people will often write it off as "tough love."
There's also the flip side of the issue too. For a coach who is perfectly normal but tough, it's extremely difficult to deal with parents who just hover around and offer their opinions and ask pointed questions and talk with other parents about anything and everything. I've done a bit of coaching (high school football), and the one thing that I never have missed is dealing with parents. I don't talk to them unless it's something very serious, and I don't want them talking to me.

My line of thinking was this. On the field, I'm in charge. Off the field, they're in charge. The two don't cross over unless there's something egregiously wrong...if there's a bad home situation, or if a coach is sending up red flags. But the most interaction that I ever had with one of my players off the field was giving one a ride home after practice because his car needed repairs and wasn't available.

And this is one of the issues with hockey, where there's long travel and staying in hotels and riding buses. I've heard stories about "normal life" in junior hockey that is stomach-churning. And the bigger problem is that coaches or older players tend to take the lead on these type of things, so there's certainly a fear factor involved.

Now, I will say that in order to become a high school coach in Ohio, the OHSAA requires both a background check and also attendance/participation in a class that covers everything from first aid to legal matters to covering your own ass in relations with players. I don't know if such a thing exists with other governing bodies, but I'd be curious to know if or how it could be implemented.

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