Major League Soccer announced Friday that it will employ independent counsel to supervise an investigation into Vancouver Whitecaps' handling misconduct allegations against Hubert Busby Jr.
"The investigation will include a review the club's internal processes, overall culture at that time, as well as recommendations for preventive measures to ensure that all Whitecaps staff and players work in a safe environment free from harassment and fear of retaliation," MLS stated in a statement. The league and club will release the results and recommendations of the investigation.
In an interview with British newspaper the Guardian, Malloree Enoch, a U.S. player, detailed allegations of Busby's inappropriate behavior between 2010 and 2011. Enoch claimed that Busby had promised her he would sign her up as a player. He then made frequent trips with her and tried to make her have sex.
Enoch stated that she had shared her concerns with Dan Lenarduzzi after signing in 2011. However, no action was taken immediately. Enoch stated that the group of players brought their concerns about Busby's treatment and how they were treated as players to management.
Busby's contract expired with the Whitecaps in October 2011. After previously being an assistant coach, Busby was named head coach of Jamaica's women’s team in January 2020. Busby will be meeting with the Jamaican Football Federation on Tuesday, after they made it clear that they were aware of the allegations.
Busby, 52 years old, was previously a head coach and general manger for the Seattle Sounders women’s team. He also coached college football. Since then, the Sounders women's soccer team is no longer affiliated with the Seattle Sounders.
Axel Schuster, Whitecaps' sporting director, later released a statement in the event that he stated that the club had hired an independent ombudsperson at the end 2011 to conduct an investigation, which eventually led to Busby's departure.
Schuster stated in his statement that "we have since learned that investigation didn't reveal certain allegations that were revealed this week." "Our communication with the players, staff, and the soccer community regarding Busby's departure was also poor." We could have done more, and we are deeply sorry for this.
Busby's allegations are not the first to be levelled against a former Whitecaps women’s team manager. A blog post written by a former Whitecaps women’s player in 2019 detailed abuses committed by Bob Birarda (then manager of the Canadian women’s U20 national soccer team). Birarda was indicted on six counts of sexual abuse, two counts each of sexual assault and one count child luring in December 2020. These allegations concern four individuals.
Fans protested the allegations and Whitecaps owners later apologized for the injuries suffered by their players.
This report was contributed by Jeff Carlisle, an ESPN journalist.