Little league baseball team got stripped of their U.S. championships on Wednesday. Chicago-based Jackie Robinson West and suspended its coach for violating a rule prohibiting the use of players who live outside the geographic area that the team represents.
I was released on Wednesday that the team Jackie Robinson West must vacate wins that include one from the 2014 Little League Baseball International Tournament and also includes its Great Lakes Regional and United States Championships. Team Manager Darold Butler has been suspended from Little League activity, and Michael Kelly, who is the administrator of the Illinois District 4, has been removed from his position.
The reason behind the team losing all of their hard-earned titles is, they have been accused of using falsified boundary maps. Also, team officials met with neighboring Little League districts in Illinois to claim players and build what amounts to a little league superteam. Jackie Robinson West had been the first all-black team to win the national championship. In a statement, Little League International CEO Stephen D. Keener said, “it was a shame a child’s sport could be so tainted by the actions of a few adults.”
President Barack Obama, who had honored the team last year with a White House ceremony, said Wednesday that he continues to be proud of the team and that he blames the problems on “dirty dealing” by adults.
It’s a very sore subject when it comes to taking the title away from the children that practiced and played hard to win. But the rules surrounded around little league will have consequences if broken. “Little League has very specific rules in terms of where somebody should live in order to play for a particular little league,” Evergreen Park Little League Vice President Chris Janes said. “JRW’s boundaries are very distinct and do not extend into any suburbs.”
Parents feel that now they should provide birth certificates and school records to make sure that each student being enrolled in a team is from the correct region, to prevent anything like this from happening again.