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    Letter to Parents

    posted Feb 6, 2012, 2:39 PM by Sun Prairie Youth Football   [ updated Feb 6, 2012, 2:41 PM ]

    Dear Parents,

    Last week the Dane County District Attorney's office filed criminal
    charges against David Stackhouse for Theft by Embezzlement with Sun
    Prairie Youth Football listed as the victim. Stackhouse is a former
    president of SPYF. The Board of Directors for SPYF would like to
    provide some background information in regards to the charges.

    The board has been working very hard behind the scenes to ensure
    appropriate legal and ethical actions were taken, while at the same
    time growing and improving the program at an accelerated rate.

    While we cannot provide specific details of the charges against Mr.
    Stackhouse, we wanted to make sure you understand that we have done
    our due diligence in ensuring the program has and will continue to
    operate with the highest integrity.

    Questions regarding league history (including expenditures) first
    became a topic for the board in 2008 when a new board of Sun Prairie
    Youth Football was formed.  The objective of the new board was to
    improve program management, mitigate risk, improve player safety, and
    enhance the football learning experience for the youth football
    family.  In the process of establishing legal non-profit status for
    the organization, some irregularities in the financial statements
    turned over by former board President David Stackhouse were
    identified. Mr. Stackhouse was solely responsible for the financial
    well being of the program from 1999-2006

    Three members of the new Board of Directors under newly elected
    President Mike Henning initiated an audit of the SPYF finances and
    further substantiated a number of financial discrepancies. The new
    Board of Directors voted to review the financial discrepancies with
    the Sun Prairie Police Department, triggering a formal criminal
    investigation. The result is the recent filing of a criminal complaint
    by the Dane County District Attorney's office, with multiple counts of
    Theft by Embezzlement.

    No other board members or any other person associated with Sun Prairie
    Youth Football have been mentioned or implicated in the course of this
    investigation.

    Since discovering the loss, the board of SPYF has been working
    diligently to improve the program and make it the best possible
    experience for you and your athlete.

    Notable areas of improvement since 2008 instituted by Sun Prairie
    Youth Football include:

    • Established a Board of Directors with chair positions where members
    are voted on annually. The board has also instituted  process with
    checks and balances for all decisions.  This ensures the financial and
    operational aspects of the youth football organization.

    • SPYF has become a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.

    • Created a best in class Emergency Action Plan that has been
    requested by USA Football (
    www.usafootball.com) to be used as a
    template for other youth programs. This is a tremendous compliment to
    SPYF given that USA Football is directly affiliated with the NFL and
    the NFLPA and chose our plan out of the thousands of programs they are
    associated with nationwide.

    • Created a best in class equipment inventory process that is also
    requested by and copied by other youth football programs in the
    region. An important part of our process is to track the usage of all
    of our helmets and they are reconditioned every 2 years and discarded
    prior to 10 years of use. This is critically important for player
    safety given the heightened awareness of concussion prevention.

    • All coaches are required to be certified through USA Football.
    including criminal background checks.  This provides insurance and
    assurance that our coaches are properly trained to be youth coaches,
    with a focus on the most important aspects of coaching a youth
    football program.  This also aids in avoiding association with coaches
    who may introduce risk to the program and our youth.

    • Practice equipment has been replaced, reconditioned or upgraded,
    which is a continuous process. The most visible improvement is a new,
    youth specific blocking sled and 2 tackling pits to teach and
    demonstrate safe and effective tackling techniques, as well as several
    new sets of blocking shields and other practice equipment.

    • We have worked with the Sun Prairie School District grounds staff to
    ensure the facilities continue to be safe for the school needs and
    SPYF needs.

    • SPYF has contracted with UW Hospitals and Clinics to have a
    certified sports athletic trainer at all home games.  This ensures
    advanced medical guidance in the event of injury, ensuring player
    safety and peace of mind for parents and coaching staff.

    • SPYF has joined the Dane County Area Youth Football League and has
    become the largest program in that league.


    We hope our actions through the noted improvements since forming the
    board of directors in 2008 provide assurance that we are operating
    only with the best interests of the community and program in mind.

    Thank you for your ongoing support and participation in our program.

    The Sun Prairie Youth Football Board

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