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
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 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