Oct 7, 2011 12:25 AM by John Romero
It seems Artsports World in Colorado Springs is going to have a name and management change in the midst of a sex abuse scandal involving a former coach. We were sent a letter by parents of kids who attend Artsports. In it, head coach Tex Womak says the business will change its name to Trampoline World and that he will become the manager of operations. Even so, the fallout has already begun.
Mike Zapp has owned and operated Artsports World for about 20 years. Now he's come under fire for hiring Doug Boger. Allegations have recently surfaced from 10 former gymnasts, who say Boger physically and sexually abused them in the early 80's. Boger did face trial for abuse in the 80's he was found not guilty. When the highly successful coach moved to Colorado Springs, Zapp said hiring him was a no-brainer. "I did a background check and he comes back perfect." says Zapp, "That was pretty much all I needed to know."
Robert Alexander's daughter has been going to Artsports for 8 years. He said it was a big part of their lives. "It was an enjoyable place." he explains, "My kids both went there and I enjoyed all of the coaches."
As the allegations against Boger became public, parents at the gym were very concerned. Robert Alexander was one of those parents. "I did not know all of the details and I got worried. I was very concerned for my daughter." he says. Just this week Alexander pulled his children out of Artsports.
Zapp stands by his business and says it's always been safe and family friendly. "The truth is Artsports is and always has been a safe place since 1991, over 20 years without any problems and absolutely no allegations." he says.
But for Alexander, the hiring of Doug Boger erased all of his trust. "My trust was violated when Mike hired Doug." he says, "I'm not sure I'm willing to rebuild that."
There's also been talk circulating that Zapp is selling his business. We called him to ask and he flat out denied it.