PIAA officials shocked by charges against sports doctor

Lancaster

The attorney general’s office says the hotline it launched for tips about Dr. William Vollmar continues to ring.

PIAA officials say they were shocked about the charges filed against Vollmar. They say in the 19 years he worked with the organization, they had no reports of inappropriate behavior.

“The events that he would have been present would have been basketball championships, wrestling championships, track and cross country,” PIAA associate executive director Melissa Mertz said.

Vollmar was one of a handful of doctors the PIAA had on staff to work with athletes across the Midstate, often in Hershey or Shippensburg. He’s now facing a slew of sex assault charges against adults and minors, including athletes. 

Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the crimes reported so far happened at Vollmar’s home, at his Quarryville practice, and at Conestoga Valley High School.

“We were very much caught off guard, and I say that because we’ve had no issues,” said Mertz.

Mertz said the association relies on medical licenses and clearances doctors and trainers have at their practices or schools.

“In many instances, at our championship events, the medical staff treats athletes in full public view,” said Mertz.

And when they aren’t?

“In only rare occasions, and really they use a buddy system in where they work in teams, and that was set up because the trainers need to work in the auspices of a physician,” said Mertz.

Mertz says the organization’s system is designed so students aren’t alone with trainers or doctors at its events.

Shapiro says this is the just beginning of a very active investigation. He encourages survivors to call the hotline to report abuse: 1-800-332-6039.

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