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Ex-Whitecaps women’s coach accused of trying to solicit sex from player during recruitment

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A former coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps women's soccer team is facing allegations of making sexual advances toward a player he was trying to recruit a decade ago. As Catherine Urquhart reports, it's not the first time a Whitecaps women's coach has faces accusations of a sexual nature – Oct 28, 2021

A former coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps women’s team has been accused of trying to solicit sex from a player.

In an explosive report in the Guardian newspaper in the U.K., former Whitecap Malloree Enoch said coach Hubert Busby Jr. made sexual advances towards her as she was being recruited for the team.

Enoch signed with the club in April 2011, while Busby Jr. served as head coach between 2010 and 2011.

Read more: Former Vancouver Whitecaps women’s coach charged with sexual offences

Enoch alleges Busby Jr. bought her sporting equipment, flew her to events and requested she stay in his hotel room, eventually pressuring her for sex, according to the report.

She told the newspaper that she shared her concerns with Dan Lenarduzzi, the team’s soccer development director, after signing with the team in 2011, but no action was immediately taken.

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A group of players later took their concerns to management, she said, and Busby Jr.’s contract was not renewed when it expired in Oct. 2011.

Click to play video: 'Former Whitecaps coach facing charges for sexual offences' Former Whitecaps coach facing charges for sexual offences
Former Whitecaps coach facing charges for sexual offences – Dec 10, 2020

Global News was unable to reach Busby Jr., who is currently the coach of the Jamaican women’s national soccer team, but he denied the allegations to the Guardian.

It is the second time the Whitecaps women’s team has faced allegations regarding a coach.

“In talking to her it’s just been really triggering,” said former teammate Ciara McCormack, who raised allegations of sexual misconduct and bullying involving coaching staff at the club in a 2019 blog.

“She’s a mom with a young child now and job; she was emotional when I was talking to her.”

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Read more: Vancouver Whitecaps contact police amid allegations of harassment, bullying by former women’s coach

Last year, former Whitecaps women’s soccer team coach Bob Birarda was charged with multiple sexual offences.

Amid backlash and walkouts from fans, Whitecaps owners later expressed “sincere regret and empathy” for harm experienced by female players who have alleged abuse at the hands of a former coach.

None of the allegations against Birarda have been proven in court.

“It’s the same story over and over again, where misconduct comes to light and then organizations choose to cover it up. And then athletes have to watch as these people walk unscathed back into the sporting landscape to be able to have free reign to potentially do this again to other people,” McCormack said Thursday.

McCormack said recent events, including the Chicago Blackhawks sexual assault investigation, highlight the need for change.

“I think it’s just finally seeming like the tide is starting to turn and athletes are starting to have a voice and people are starting to take this seriously,” she said.

— with files from the Canadian Press

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