Update: NY Coach Suspension Came After Allegedly Providing Alcohol to Minor

A New York high school and club swim coach suspended by the U.S. Center for SafeSport was arrested for allegedly providing alcohol to a minor, WENY News reports.

Last week, we reported on Mark Miles‘ inclusion in the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s database as well as on USA Swimming’s temporary ban list. Miles was formerly the head coach for girls swimming & diving at Horseheads Central School District, and was previously listed as the head senior coach for Thrashers Swimming out of New York. Miles was given a temporary suspension and a no-contact directive by the U.S. Center for SafeSport as of January 29.

WENY News now reports that Miles was arrested by the Horseheads Police Department and charged with unlawfully dealing with a child. WENY reports that the charge is for allegedly providing alcohol to a person younger than 21 years old.

The Horseheads School District provided SwimSwam the following statement, noting that he is no longer employed in the district:

“Mr. Miles is no longer employed by the Horseheads Central School District. As this is a personnel matter, we cannot comment further. Any further questions should be directed to the Horseheads Police Department.”

Thrashers Swimming did not respond to our request for comment, but Miles is no longer listed on the team website’s coaches page.

Miles has also not responded to our request for comment.

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Jacob Bernitzki

I mean, you can’t really tell what’s happened there, and I’m sure it must be something somewhat serious, but is it possible in the US to get arrested for handing a beer to a 20yo?
I’m from Germany and our drinking regulations are problably a bit too soft, so I actually don’t know what to think about this…


It’s called contributing to the delinquency of a minor. It’s very against the law here in the US. Plus, as a coach you’re held to a higher standard when it comes to your conduct. So there are multiple offenses happening here.


Unfortunately it doesn’t matter if the person is 20 years old. Underage is underage in the US.


Depends on the situation. A group of 20-22 year olds hanging out and a 21yo gives a beer to a 20 yo? Highly unlikely, there would generally need to be other stuff going on. A 43yo giving a beer to a kid under 18? Definitely, even more so since it’s a person in position of power and not a parent.


Looks like this is the relevant section of the New York law: “He gives or sells or causes to be given or sold any alcoholic beverage, as defined by section three of the alcoholic beverage control law, to a person less than twenty-one years old; except that this subdivision does not apply to the parent or guardian of such a person or to a person who gives or causes to be given any such alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of twenty-one years, who is a student in a curriculum licensed or registered by the state education department, where the tasting or imbibing of alcoholic beverages is required in courses that are part of the required curriculum, provided… Read more »

2 Cents

Where are these classes that involve tasting and imbibing alcoholic beverages???


Bar tending school


Vocational culinary programs as well


I hosted a wine tasting back in College for a vitaculture class. A highlight of the semester for the class. This was at a large state school.


I took an entire wine tasting course in undergrad, but you had to be 21 to register. It ended up being a very challenging class!


Alcohol training awareness program? What exactly is alcohol training and why does being aware of it get you off the hook?


A subtlety of providing alcohol to a minor who is much younger is that it could possibly be a step in the grooming process, or an outright move to incapacitate the victim. In many stories about molestation and abuse, the perpetrator used alcohol to groom (“he’s such a cool guy and treats me like a grown-up”) or in actual assaults.

M d e

This is just so incredibly, unbelievably stupid.

As a coach, simply good enough isn’t good enough in regards to conduct.

You need to be completely and totally above reproach in every respect. You need to be cleaner than clean. You need to have transcripts of any communication held in private with any swimmer, and use email, text etc. written communication wherever possible. And keep a healthy degree of separation from teenage swimmers especially.

This applies to ANYONE who works with children. Its a responsibility too many coaches don’t take seriously enough. And when you make foolish mistakes like this coach has it will cost you your career. And given how foolish this was it would frankly be hard to feel sorry for him.

2 Cents

While what you say is true, in some places just having it stolen from you can count as “providing” for a minor. Kind of like how if you own a firearm you need to lock it up and keep it away from any kid/minor because if they use it, then you as the owner are responsible to a degree. So if you go shopping for a case of beer on your way to practice, and leave it in your car… make sure it’s locked up and out of sight, or just wait and pick it up on your way home.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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