Sick, Sad, Little World

Story by Cody Pech

Ball and Basketball Court

Iowa City, IA – Late Friday evening I stepped out of the movie theater and did what I typically do every once in awhile, I scrolled through Twitter to find the latest and greatest sports news. The following tweet is the first thing I saw after logging in, I hadn’t heard the news yet and felt the sudden urge to vomit the second I started to learn more details.

In case you haven’t heard, Greg Stephen, the former co-director of the Iowa Barnstormers was found to have cameras and other devices with recordings of naked boys by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. Apparently the kids in these videos have no idea they’re being filmed. Matthew Bain broke the news in a Des Moines Register article here.

Now, we all have to remember that in the United States everyone is innocent until proven guilty. All we will comment on is the facts. It appears that the current facts state that Stephen was found in possession of hidden cameras and devices that had videos of naked boys on them. Bain also states in his article that Stephen would always share beds with boys in team hotel rooms, and at least one player has now admitted he caught Stephen masturbating in bed next to him.

It’s hard not to draw some conclusions after reading those facts. It’s also hard to measure the depths at which his current and former players were, or will be, affected by his actions. It’s now painfully apparent that the damage is real, and you can tell by the tone of his former players tweets that this news is shocking.

The Barnstormers released the following tweet to their following followed by an email to the families of the organization.

The current state of college basketball has no backbone. It’s flawed in so many ways. The Iowa Barnstormers AAU teams have a reputation for being the best in the state of Iowa, and one of the best in the entire country. It’s awful to think that this kind of thing could have been happening at this level to young unsuspecting children. I’m sure the parents of these kids have felt a tremendous amount of pride watching their young men and women suit up in an Iowa Barnstormers uniform. I’m sure they trusted the coaches of such an elite team, and to think that this type of behavior may have been happening behind closed doors right here in the state of Iowa is absolutely sickening.

These are currently allegations. The DCI has begun an official investigation. There have been no arrests made in the case, but the Barnstormers have announced Greg Stephen is no longer with the program, and several other Barnstormer coaches have been releasing tweets in support of their players.

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