LEXINGTON, Ky. – National Amateur Athletic Union president Louis Stout, who sought to foster a "culture of safety" with the implementation of several reforms, died Sunday at age 73, the organization said.
AAU spokesman Ron Sachs said Stout died early Sunday morning at St. Joseph's Hospital in Lexington, Ky. Sachs said Stout had been hospitalized for about a week with an unspecified illness.
Stout took over the Amateur Athletic Union after the group's former president, Bobby Dodd, was accused by two former basketball players of molesting them as children in Memphis and other locations in the 1980s. The organization had never faced any abuse allegations prior to those against the 63-year-old, and he to date has never been charged with a crime.
Under Stout's leadership, measures were implemented to protect athletes, including background checks required for all adults involved in AAU activities. Policies and procedures were designed to ensure that young athletes are never left alone with an adult.
"The new recommendations are not because we suspect anyone, but rather because we expect everyone to do their part to create a strong, new culture of safety," Stout said in June.
AAU acting president Henry Forrest said Stout "will be forever remembered as the architect who established the highest standards for safety and protection at AAU and for ensuring our program's continued success."
In 1971, Stout became an assistant commissioner for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, where he worked for 23 years under four different commissioners, according to the AAU.
He became commissioner of the association in 1994, becoming the first African-American to head a state high school athletic association in the country.
Stout — who also officiated softball, baseball and college basketball — was inducted into the 11th Region Basketball Hall of Fame, Kentucky Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, AAU Softball Umpire Hall of Fame, AAU Hall of Fame, and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.