tv America Tonight Al Jazeera April 7, 2015 10:00pm-10:31pm EDT
t race on earth. runners are required to carry everything they need to survive on their backs, during a 6 day, 150 mile trek across the sahara. the only exception, water. on "america tonight" - the muscle that rolls the crimson tide. michael oku reports. the machine is a coalition of all-right fraternities and those that rig elections. >> power is done in alabama secretly. it used to be understand white sheets, nous it's a basement of fraternity house. also, big league dreams and
how he said his coach exploited anybody. >> why didn't you tell anyone. how do you do that without feelings. it's like a piece of dirt. >> reporter: do you think everything you did as a coach rahs appropriate. >> reporter: lori jane gliha with a player turned prey thanks for joining us. i'm joie chen. youth athletics creates great memories and opportunities for kids. more than 50 million are involved in youth sport, and for most relationships with the coaches are good ones. but as we have seen tragically often, the close connection between a player and a coach can be exploited. "america tonight"s lori jane gliha now investigates how abusers can take advantage of young athletes and how they get away with it. it didn't seem like i could never say anything about it
otherwise i would be worse off than i already was. you know it was kind of like keep quiet or that'll be it for your career. >> reporter: a career in baseball is all anthony calero wanted. he spent his childhood dreaming of the big leagues and put his trust in a coach who helped to perfect his pitch along the way. >> i thought he would help me get to where i wanted to be in life, and was based on everything i had. i thought baseball was my out. he took that away from me. >> it wasn't long into his college career at concordia when his close relationship with the coach crossed a line. in a lawsuit filed against the coach and the university. he claims that the 20-year-old was asked to perform sex acts on
camera in the coach's office. exchange he says he was promised meetings with baseball scouts. >> it got to the point of me said you can do the videos. if you do them i'll help you get to where you are going. he said you can do this for me and you'll be good here and play baseball and i'll get you to where you are going, or if you don't. things will go sour. >> why didn't you tell anyone? >> how do you tell someone that? i mean that's - i'm so embarrassed by it. how do you tell someone you had to go through it you had to do that, you know. how do you go about that without feeling low or - just like a piece of dirt? >> reporter: lampassis who agreed to speak to "america tonight" admits making the sex videos. >> i admit it.
it shouldn't happen i'm the coach. some say i used undue influence, i don't think so. i know his lawsuits say i promised him these things and forced him into it. it's a lie. >> his career as a coach came to an end when another player came forward to say lapesis asked him to make videos. it's claimed there was more to the story, that he was groomed from the time of a child and the university should have known the man they hired had a history of getting too close to kids. >> he doesn't have a criminal history. what do you think they would have found if they did additional checking? >> i think he wasn't the type of person that should have been in a position of power. >> he was failed by a university supposed to be there for protection and safeguarded and kept safe from the coaches who were predators. >> antonio is the lawyer. >> when anthony was a minor, he
was shadowed. he was given pitching lessons. >> he met spiros at a baseball camp. the coach kept in touch, attending the game offering lessons. >> he'd text and call ask me to do the lessons, to hang out. he'd ask me about my girlfriends, stuff i was doing sexually. >> calero says he started to remember inappropriate encounters in high school. the baseball coach showered and touched him inappropriately. >> he had me undress in front of him, and, you know he was on the floor on his knees and had me step into them and pull them up and fondled me and checked everything out and whatnot. had his hands over my genitals and everything. >> he said i was inappropriate
with him in high school yet he domes concordia -- yet he domes concordia, who will do that. >> reporter: we talked to him. he had tears down his streaks. >> it's a nice show. >> reporter: his argument is he felt he was under spiro's power because he was the coach. >> please really. come on. >> reporter: do you see the argument? >> not at all. i don't see it. >> reporter: calero is not the only person charging that he has a history of sexual abuse of minors. >> i looked him in the eye. i think he thinks what he has done is perfectly okay. attorney karen enright reps adam kelly, claiming that he too, uncovered repressed childhood memories at the abuse of lampesis a teacher in his middle school.
>> he accused him of taking him to his home orally and anally raping him. taking him and staying overnight at his house. the sexual acts of violence and video taping it kelly declined to speak to "america tonight". but filed a lawsuit against lampesis claiming the coach raped him a dozen time, often with other men, and is suing the school district. >> a healthy coach and athlete relationship is based on mutual trust. what is problematic is if the relationship changes into more of a power and control relationship that is coercive intimidating. the executive director of the chicago children's advocacy center says most cases are never reported to authorities. >> how ease i is it for an abuse -- easy is it for an
abusive coach to blend. >> it's easy. >> there's a reluctance to report it because of a fear of upsetting parents. i don't think there's really a desire for children to be hurt. i don't think that's where the motivation comes from. i think there's a motivation though to kind of pull in and product the organization. >> lambpesa maintains he's guilty of nothing more than poor judgment. >> i sleep well because i know i'm innocent. if i was guilty it would be rough. i don't know what i would think or do or say. i'm not in gaol i'm not locked up why? because i have not done what the two are accusing him of. >> reporter: he told "america tonight" his close relationship with kids could be miscop strued. me spent the nights at children's homes when parents were away. he went to concerts.
he was wrestling with her son. his mother walked in. we were fully clothed. she sent a letter. we had a meeting. we talked about it. said that i couldn't be alone with an individual while the parents were not there. >> do you think everything you did as a coach was appropriate? >> define what you mean by appropriate. >> reporter: do you think the way you hung out with the kids do you think it was appropriate behaviour for a coach-player relationship? >> 99% is appropriate. >> he admitted to monitoring the boy's showers when teaching pe at a middle school. he said he was instructed to make sure the kids were out within six minutes. >> i was in the locker room at the time. they happened to be showering, getting dressed and getting out. >> is it appropriate for a coach to watch children in a shower? >> no. when you cross the line to personnel behaviour that could
be misconstrued to sexual behaviour, they are warning signs that a coach is going too far. if a coach or youth-serving person is going down the road perhaps it's innocent. that's where you can intervene and say that's a line you don't want to cross. >> the lawsuit takes aim at concordia university for failing to go enough to protect him. concordia would not speak to "america tonight" on camera but the school said it fired lampessa soon it learnt of inappropriate behaviour. >> it was never explained why he was fired, until two years later wheep he was arrested for having sexual relations in the back seat of a car with a 16-year-old boy. >> concordia should have announced that spiros was a sexual predator that could or might harm children. >> reporter: it was said the boy lied about his age saying he was
19. police agreed and never filed charges. >> i have no future. to do something i love - people say "good, you shouldn't be around kids", i under, people may have that perspective from what they read and think and believe. none of it is true. that's what is out there. i can't change that. >> what is this like to look at? >> that's fine. it's the other one. >> anthony kolaro says his future is not what it expected to be. he never made it to the big leagues. he works at a catering service. he is not giving up hope to put all of the bad memories behind him and one day become a coach himself. >> i don't think it will be obvious for me. i love baseball. i don't want to carry this around with me. i want to get it done and over with and have peace and resolution in my life. "america tonight" gleeing
joins us. -- lori jane gliha joins us. these complaints accusations, as not resulted in criminal charges. >> at this point there's no counter criminal charges against spiros and he says that he did not do these things thinking some allegations are so far fixed. he is fighting these things. school's hands can be tied when it comes to a coach. if a school is uncomfortable with a coach, they may part ways with the person. if someone calls them down the line if a report has not been filed, the school cannot say legally to another school distribute to let them know why her uncomfortable. it can be difficult to follow a coach or someone with red flags raised along the way from school to school to school. >> schools feel their hands are tied. is there another way to protect kids? >> a lot of states expanded the
laws since the scandal happened. states in particular illinois is one that expanded the mandatory reporting requirements. people who are required to report sexual abuse to child and family services and included among them are universities and people that work in an athletic capacity if they are a coach or something like that if they work in a community organization. "america tonight"'s lori jane gliha. later, big muscle on campus. the university of alabama's political machine. after generations of groundbreaking change why it makes the crimson tide roll.
worst infrastructure crisis we have seen. >> the bridge over the river fell down. there's cars over the place. >> reporter: lindsay walls was 24 in 2007. she was stuck in traffic, frustrated and anxious to get home after a long day. approaching slowly the i 35 bridge. >> my car was in a free fall and went straight to the bottom and was immediately full of water. >> a formal investigation into the collapse took more than a year. the national transport safety board said the cause of the tragedy was a design flaw in the bridge's gus et plates metal squares that connect one steel beam to another. at the time of the collapse the bridge was listed as structurally deficient. casey is with the american society for civil engineers. every four years they evaluate
the state. how many countries are deficient now. >> we have 60,000 dredges with physical problems that need maintenance, rehabilitation and to put it in perspective, that's one in nine bridges in this country one in nine. fast-forward. since the report the numbers have gone up not down. the don't of transportation find more than 61,000 bridges in the country are deficient. the trust fund faced revenue shortfalls since 2008, and every year next roll tide a campus election apt the university of alabama exposes a machine that ran political racism since before george wallace's first stand. >> and an education behind bars. wednesday on "america tonight". solo dad o'brien goes inside a juvenile lock up.
university for racist remarks made on campus radio. zero tolerance is a sign of change. going up against institutionalized racism and the machine can take generations to come as michael oku found, even in a crimson tide. >> i'm asking from you that you will... >> it was during the dog days of an barack obama -- alabama where governor wallace blocked two students from registering. >> i george w wallace as governor of the state of alabama denounce and forbid an illegal and unwarranted action by the central government. the stand in the school house door would become a seminal moment in the civil rights movement. 52 years later there's more
history. >> reporter: elliott, we are at a spot where 50 years ago governor george wallace tried to prevent african-american students from registering. it these be meaningful to you. >> it is, it's symbolic to me as an african-american male. at that time i could not come here. i was not welcome to set foot on the campus. today it's not the case. >> reporter: it sure isn't. last month he was elected president of the university, one of two african-americans ever. the last 39 years ago. >> reporter: did your parents give you advice? >> don't run. >> reporter: did they say that? >> they did. >> reporter: elliott's dad nose a few things about being a long shot. he was the first student body president of his all-white high school in mississippi. like many elliott did not listen to his parents. one of his biggest challenges was getting the vote. some fraternities would not let
him in to campaign. his banners were taken down in the middle of the night. >> i had friends who were out of state telling me you know honestly elliott, it's tradition, it's cool to be racist. >> reporter: it's cool to be racist. >> yes. >> reporter: home grown racist attitudes are being diluted by the arrival of out of state students who make up nearly half of the student body. spillers believes it had an impact on his getting elected. >> right now we are in a new era at the university of alabama. we are moving forward, progressing. and our campus culture is shifting. it's because of that that i was elected. >> reporter: the journey has been long and painful. for decades sororities were engaged in racial segregation. that changed when traditionally all-white sororities anticipated
28 black girls as pledges. one was elliott's girl who helped him win over sorority voters. >> we are moving forward, we cannot continue the same way, in the last fully years we as a student body fought. >> reporter: on the losing end, some say, is the so-called machine. the machine is a coalition of all white fraternities and sororities, those that participate in and rig osme say. this secret society dating back 100 years at the university. members meet in the basement of fraternities, called going downstairs, where they plot strategy. . >> it was a machine, it was a political machine. former alabama politician steve flowers was a member. he knew he had to be one if he was going anywhere in politics. >> when i was a young boy, we had nine members of congress, eight of nine came through the
machine. both the u.s. senators were mash each alumni. the right to go into congress was to be in the machine in alabama. we learnt each other, knew each other. you went in the fraternity, went downstairs, nominated and made deals together. . >> we say i had a guy in my fraternity that wants to be president. they'd say we'll swap out. we have a guy that wants to be president of the college of education, because it looks on his resume he doesn't want to be in politics. it will book good on his resume. it was a straining ground. >> reporter: you call it a trimming ground a farming -- training ground a farming substantiate. others on the outside would say it's secret shadowy, the old
boys' network. anyone that is not part of this be dammed. >> well at that time it probably was true. >> reporter: was the machine racist. flower says not when he was there, and he doesn't think it is today. >> we didn't have racial things when i was in school. there was no animosity towards african-american people in my fraternity it was a foregone conclusion we were all white. the school was white. >> reporter: he thinks spiller's election shows the machine didn't have the mojo it once did. kelly disagrees. for a lot outside of alabama it sounds like a john grisham model. an all-white group of students associated with fraternities can run politics outside of their school. >> i had a hard time believing if before i lived through it. >> reporter: a year and a half ago horwitz ran as an incumbent. she noticed something odd while
reviewing the rolls. . >> what caught my attention was one address in a single family home historical neighbourhood had 11 newly registered young men at the address. i flagged it on facebook saying "i think this is suspicious." >> reporter: she says she learnt 11 university of alabama students registered at this one home. >> people were registered in places they didn't leave. >> reporter: on the day of the election she received a tip by a greek member. fraternities an sororities a wristband that would get them into two local bars in exchange for a drink, if they turned out to vote. >> reporter: vote for the candidate, you get a free drink at the bar.
>> yes. i was frustrated and was in the midst of this. they hired limo seeps and buses to bring -- limousines and buses to bring fraternity and sorority voters to the voting place. we knew the machine was at work. >> reporter: you saw it happen. >> yes . >> reporter: it was kelly against the machine. she lost by 87 votes. . >> power is done in alabama secretly by an elect group of people. it was under white sheets now in the basement of a frat erpy house. >> paul is kelly's husband and a law professor, he went to the faculty senate and asked the university to investigate. >> lots of us know that over the course of decades the machine has been an issue and problem for the university and an attractable one. the goal was to make sure that if this was a university problem, that the university was
going to address it. >> reporter: university officials declined to get involved in what they deemed a municipal election kelly sued claiming voter fraud. her case was dismissed. it's under appeal. this is not the first time concerns were raised about the machine's influence on elections. in 1997 then newspaper editor don brown claimed as many as 265 illegal votes were cast in his run for council. votes cast by fraternity and sorority members. >> i think that the machine is - it's a symbol of larger issues in american politics. are we going to have a political system that is controlled behind closed doors by a small group of people and lead to greater cynicism about politics, or are we going to conduct ourselves with integrity, be open about
who we are, why we are running and who is backing us? those are the issues that we have to ask in tuscaloosa and those are the issues that every voter across the country needs to ask. >> reporter: we wanted to ask the machine about all of this. trying to find a secret society is not easy. the frat houses didn't want to talk. neither did most of the students we approached. with the spiller's election it looks like the machine is losing steam. >> the majority have spoken. we are progressing. you know you can hop on the bandwagon or not. >> reporter: that from a young man who has something in common with george wallace. as a student wallace ran for student body president against the machine. but he lost. unlike spillers. another sign that perhaps the tide is turning at the university of alabama
that's "america tonight". tell us what you think at aljazeera.com/americatonight. talk to us on facebook and come back. we'll have more of "america tonight" tomorrow. just six months ago president obama touted yemen and somali as success stories in america's global war on terror. >> the strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us while supporting partners on the front lines is one that we have successfully pursued in yemen and somali for years. today yemen is torn by civil war, and al-shabab has extended its reach beyond somali's borders. what