Officials with USA Volleyball told the New York Daily News that they were “furious” that Rick Butler was allowed to renew his membership despite a previous lifetime ban over allegations of sexual abuse.
“We are furious that Rick Butler’s membership was renewed,” said Lori Okimura, USA Volleyball board of directors chairman, in the New York Daily News piece. USA Volleyball members apply with regional subgroups each year to renew their memberships. Okimura says that officials in the Great Lakes Region were supposed to contact USA Volleyball if Butler ever sought a membership renewal. Okimura says the regional office did not contact the national governing body before approving Butler’s application for membership.
Butler was the owner of the Sports Performance volleyball club in the Chicago area and was accused of physically, verbally and sexually abusing his players in the 1990s. He was banned from USA Volleyball for life in 1995 on the accusations of three women who claimed he had abused them sexually. The girls were minors at the time of the alleged abuse in the 1980s.
Butler has admitted to having sex with players, but claims they were 18 at the time, according to the New York Daily News report.
But the Daily News reports that Butler was reinstated as an administrator in 2000. Okimura called that decision “flawed,” though she said she didn’t know the specifics behind his reinstatement. Butler is still banned from coaching girls, per the story.
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