USA Hockey Pres. Jim Smith's Handling of Alleged Sexual Misconduct Investigated

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 28, 2020

ARLINGTON, VA - AUGUST 27:  Jerseys bearing participant names are laid out for autographs following a press conference introducing the 2014 USA Hockey Olympic Team candidates at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex on August 27, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is investigating USA Hockey president Jim Smith for his handling of allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against an Illinois youth coach, according to Katie Strang of The Athletic.

Several junior hockey players in the Chicago area said Tom "Chico" Adrahtas sexually abused them after he was removed from his assistant coaching job at the University of Minnesota amid abuse allegations, per Strang

After an investigation, he is now "ineligible for membership or participation in any USA Hockey program."

Smith was president of the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois from 1985-88, overlapping with Adrahtas' time as a coach in the local organization.

"The U.S. Center for SafeSport has advised us they have taken jurisdiction and are investigating allegations that people within AHAI, including Jim Smith, were aware of sexual misconduct by Thomas Adrahtas and did not take action," USA Hockey executive director Pat Kelleher said.

A player reportedly sent a letter to AHAI in 2010 detailing how Adrahtas sexually abused him in 1984.

Smith has denied any knowledge of these actions.

"In my time as president of AHAI, there were no reports alleging misconduct by Tom Adrahtas," he said earlier this month, per Strang.

USA Hockey has hired an independent investigator to look into Smith's role during this time.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport was created in 2017 to help prevent abuse of athletes.