Statement on Matt Laird
In late October 2018, a former writer and volunteer for National Academic Quiz Tournaments, LLC, Mathew Laird, was arrested on charges related to criminal sexual assault and child pornography.
Several news stories about the arrest carried a quote from NAQT member Chad Kubicek about Laird’s connection to NAQT:
After leaving Loyola Academy in 2014, Laird worked as a question-writer for National Academic Quiz Tournaments LLC for about nine months, from September 24, 2014, until the summer of 2015. NAQT Chief Financial Officer Chad Kubicek said Laird had no direct contact with children in his role.
This quote was given to a reporter prior to Chad Kubicek knowing about the charges and was made under the assumption that the focus of the interview was Laird’s employment history (and was thus only concerned about the paid work done by Laird as a contractor). It is true that Laird’s work as a question-writer did not involve direct contact with minors.
However, Laird also volunteered at multiple NAQT championships between 2005 and 2018 as a moderator, scorekeeper, and live-blogger, during which time he did have direct contact with minors. None of Laird’s duties would have brought him into isolated contact with minors, as all should have been conducted in game rooms (in front of coaches) and in public areas of the host hotel or school.
NAQT did not mean to provide a misleading statement; we have contacted the journalist who used the original quote to provide a more complete answer about Laird’s role(s) within NAQT, and we have been told that a clarified version of the article will be published on November 1. NAQT is shocked by these charges against one of our volunteers, but we had no intention of attempting to conceal our past relationship with him.
Laird has been banned from participating in NAQT events in any fashion.