3 Vital Components of Background Checks for the Sports Industry

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

November 3 2015

Sports teams at every level have a lot riding on the people who make up the franchise, which includes both players on the field and support staff off the field. While athletes get most of the media and public attention, coaches, trainers, and vendors are also vital to a team’s success and should be included in sports screening. There are vital components of background checks for the sports industry.

There is a lot at stake when it comes to hiring athletes and personnel for sports teams. Much of what happens in the sports industry either happens in public or is ultimately discovered by the public. Hiring the wrong person or player for a position could significantly damage a team’s reputation with fans, sponsors, and advertisers.

Conducting comprehensive background checks on players and staff is a smart way to protect your team’s assets and public image. A thorough background check can back up your decision to bring on a player or employee, or it can alert you to any aspects of the individual’s past that may cause problems for the team or franchise.

Essential components of effective background checks for sports industry professionals include:

  • Broad criminal history searches
  • Reliable pre- and post-hire drug testing
  • Data and information security

Criminal history searches for sports screening

A comprehensive background screening for employees in the sports industry often includes criminal history searches and drug testing. Criminal history searches may be conducted at the local, state, and federal levels, or some combination of the former. You should expect a pre-employment criminal records search to examine applicant data from multiple jurisdictions over at least the most recent 7-year period of time. Searching multiple jurisdictions ensures you get the most comprehensive information about a candidate. A thorough criminal history search is especially important to protecting student athletes. From coaches who supervise sports programs to drivers who transport students to games, you should properly vet all who work with students before hiring. Criminal records searches are also vital for professional sports franchises. Pro franchises rely on staff to handle financial transactions, and vendors to operate concession stands at venues. You need to be able to trust those who will contribute to the success or failure of your business.

Drug testing for background checks for the sports industry

Drug testing should include both pre-employment screenings and occasional post-hire re-screenings. A high-quality drug testingservice will offer options for lab-based urine testing, breath-alcohol tests, and on-site testing. Random drug testing is essential to ensuring sports industry personnel are drug-free.

Securing your franchise’s data

Data breaches happen all too often, so it’s imperative that you stay up-to-date with technological advancements in securing the confidential data of your athletes and personnel when sports screening. Additionally, access to athlete and employee information should be limited to only the human resources and administrative staff who require it in order to carry out their responsibilities. That is what makes background checks for the sports industry work.

Partner with InfoMart

You can easily reduce hiring risks by partnering with an experienced third party background screener. A qualified provider can help you implement a screening program that checks the backgrounds of your athletes, staff, and vendors. They can also customize your screening program to the needs of your specific sports program.


About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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