With the Penn State sex scandal still roiling college athletics, the state Senate Public Safety Committee Tuesday unanimously approved legislation that would require coaches to report suspected abuse.
"These men protected their football team rather than innocent boys and this should never be allowed to happen in our state," said Sen. Juan Vargas, a San Diego Democrat who is carrying the measure.
Vargas said his Senate Bill 1264 will add college athletic coaches, including assistants and graduate assistants, to a list of individuals, such as doctors and teachers, required to report suspected child abuse.
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with molesting several boys over more than a decade. Joe Paterno, the late Nittany Lion coach, was fired for not notifying police.
"It still sickens me when I think of the things Penn State staff saw and failed to report," Vargas said.
Vargas said he was concerned that college-level coaches could escape penalties for failing notify authorities because they are not on the list of mandatory reporters of sex abuse.
The measure, supported by San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore and others, now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.