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Friday, June 21, 2024

Probe into Saratoga Springs’ Kranicks running coaches concluded

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SARATOGA⁣ SPRINGS — The inquiry ⁤led by‍ USA Track and Field into accusations of abuse against student-athletes by coaches Art ‌and Linda ⁣Kranick from‌ Saratoga Springs City School District and Kinetic Running⁣ Club has reached its ⁢conclusion, as per the investigator’s email to the attorney representing‍ Safe Athletics For Everyone (SAFE).

The email, which was accessed by The Daily Gazette,⁤ reveals that Janie Soublière, a sports lawyer and arbitrator, intends to submit her comprehensive 66-page report to USA Track and Field on Monday afternoon.

“The report will not be⁤ made public,” she clarified in the email.

The majority of the complaints lodged by SAFE are against the Kranicks. SAFE alleges that the Saratoga Springs City School District was aware of the ‌abuse complaints​ against the Kranicks and other coaches but chose to ignore them, thereby allowing a harmful culture to persist in the athletic program.

The initial 77-page complaint was​ submitted on Oct. 2 by ​Martin J. Greenberg, the founder of Marquette‌ University’s National ⁣Sports‌ Law Institute, on⁤ behalf of SAFE. The complaint calls for the ⁣dismissal of certain school administrators, the Kranicks, and other varsity coaches Adrienne Dannehy and Katie Hannan. It⁣ was forwarded to top state officials. (Hannan has not been a varsity coach since the 2021-22 school ⁤year.)

Further complaints have been raised against the boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball coaches.

The original complaint includes numerous anonymous statements ⁣from former athletes and their parents, detailing alleged instances of bullying, harassment, manipulation,⁤ and oppressive behavior.

The complaint is currently ⁢under investigation by the district-approved Harris Beach Law Firm, the state Education Department, and the Attorney General’s‍ Office.

Harris‍ Beach is expected to wrap up its investigation by the end of February, followed by a presentation to the public and Board ⁢of Education, as⁣ stated by Superintendent⁤ Michael Patton.

Lauren Hogan, one of the former athletes mentioned ‍in the complaint, ⁣revealed that she had spoken to the USA Track and Field investigator a few months ago‌ and more recently to Harris Beach.

She noted that her interview with Harris Beach was significantly shorter than her conversation with Soublière.

“My interview with USA Track and Field lasted around an hour-and-a-half to two hours,” she ⁢shared.

She added that the Harris Beach interview lasted only about 15 to 20 minutes.

“It was⁣ certainly not thorough,” she commented.

Although the school district is not a member of USA Track and Field, the Kinetic ⁤Running Club, ⁢run by the​ Kranicks, is. Many students ‌from various school running teams also participate in the running club, which is mentioned in the complaint.

In ⁣the complaint, Hogan ‍claimed that‍ student-athletes were not given a day off from running. When they weren’t practicing for the school, they were ⁤required to run under⁢ the Kinetic Running⁤ Club.

According to the New​ York State Public High⁤ School Athletic Association handbook, student athletes are‍ only ⁤allowed one practice per day and six days per​ week.

“Non-school sponsored activities are allowed if they are​ not mandated by coaches or school personnel,” the handbook states.

However, Hogan argued that while the running club ‍practices were presented as optional, they ⁢were ⁢in fact mandatory.

“They claim it’s optional, but ⁢everyone‌ knows it’s not,” she said on Tuesday. “They use Kinetic practices to circumvent high school rules.”

USA Track and⁢ Field and Linda Kranick did‌ not respond to requests for comment. Soublière also did ⁤not comment on the report mentioned in ⁢her email to Greenberg.

In her email, Soublière mentioned that the USA Track and Field board of directors will decide on any disciplinary ​actions, then inform the⁢ parties involved, providing the‌ respondents an opportunity for a hearing.

“I am not aware⁢ of the timelines,” Soublière stated in the email. “The entire​ process is​ confidential.”

The state Education Department confirmed that its investigation is still ongoing.⁢ Hogan mentioned that she has not been contacted‌ by the state ⁣Education⁤ Department yet.

At the upcoming school board meeting, Patton will propose that the school district collaborate with the Connecticut ‍Association of Schools Interscholastic Athletic Program to conduct a⁣ thorough review of the district’s athletic programs.

The review would encompass a self-assessment, a survey of current student-athletes, parents, and coaches, and a site ‌visit to the district to hold focus group discussions with stakeholders⁢ and ⁢inspect the ‍district facilities.

“The outcome ⁢of ​this will be a comprehensive data analysis report identifying our program’s strengths, weaknesses, areas ​for improvement, and⁤ recommendations for continued success. This‍ will all culminate in ⁣a presentation to the Board of Education and‍ community,” Patton stated at a school board meeting on Jan. 25.

Patton’s ‌aim is to have ​the review completed and⁣ presented to the board and community by May.

The ⁣Kranicks continue to ⁢serve⁣ as coaches in the district, having been appointed as the girl’s varsity outdoor coaches for the‍ Spring at the school board’s meeting on Jan. 25.

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Beckett Nielson
Beckett Nielson
Transitioning from a collegiate athlete to a sports journalist, Beckett O’Neal channels his passion for sports into engaging stories. A Boston College graduate, Beckett specializes in local sports coverage, from high school heroes to regional professional teams, providing in-depth analysis and an athlete's insight.
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1 COMMENT

  1. Probe into Saratoga Springs’ Kranicks running coaches concluded. Their dedication and expertise have positively impacted numerous athletes, boosting the reputation of the school’s athletic program. #Agree

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