OT: National Little League Champs stripped of title

Submitted by StephenRKass on February 11th, 2015 at 6:37 PM

For a change of pace from Michigan fight songs, here's a piece of news that is hot in Chicago.

The local Jackie Robinson West Little League team has been stripped of it's title from last year for cheating. Apparently, they greatly fudged on residency stuff, and had players from a much wider geographic area than allowed.

LINK:  Little League Team stripped of title.

From what I can tell, the evidence was irrefutable and undeniable, and finally, they had to do this. Everyone feels bad for the kids, but I have to agree that this was the right thing to do, hard as it is.




February 11th, 2015 at 7:36 PM ^

Everyone knew, or chose not to know.  If 12 year olds today are as savy as they were 20 years ago when my kids were 12 and playing Little League baseball, every last one of them knew what was going on.  That isn't to say they should have been the adults in the conversation, their parents absolutely did them dirty.  


February 11th, 2015 at 7:05 PM ^

it's just one fool paraphrasing something jesse jackson said... i don't think anyone takes jesse seriously anyway. i guess i misunderstood what michfan meant about "they". i've read a couple articles about this, and the general "they" never mention jackson or this other person. but yes, it seems this particular person in this article sees it as a race thing; although overall, most don't.


February 11th, 2015 at 6:53 PM ^

I could have misread it, but it was one person's remarks, and even then it was simply a theory that they threw out there in a somewhat non-commital manner, from the sound of it. That's how I took it anyway. Whether that person believes that or not, it definitely was not the intent of the story in general - the problem is definitely one of geography in this case. 

The larger theme here is selfish adults doing things which ultimately screw over the kids they are supposedly there to mentor and coach. 


February 11th, 2015 at 9:12 PM ^

Well the news conference I saw with Jesse Jackson begs to differ. I agree it doesn't have anything to do with race, but some people are turning it into a race issue. One of the moms was talking about how it was not fair and mentioned that African Americans were not allowed to play baseball 50 years ago. She was basically implying the decision was racially motivated.

it's Science

February 11th, 2015 at 6:45 PM ^

As a Chicagoan, and one who's played in a multitude of youth sporting leagues, I'm am not shocked in the slightest. I feel sorry for the kids, but they absolutely knew something was afoul. They are 14, not 2, and they all know that a South Holland kid is not supposed to be on a Chicago team. Yes, it's endemic, so they probably didn't think much of it, and it's also hard for a 14 year old to call out an adult, but the offending players knew what they were doing. They, along with their parents, were completely aware that they were playing for a team that was not their own. Unless, of course, they have no idea where they live, and why they suddenly changed teams...

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February 11th, 2015 at 6:47 PM ^

To really hide birth and residency info today. Too much of it is available digitally online and therefore really easy to check. It's like politicians texting pics of their junk and thinking it will stay private.


February 11th, 2015 at 6:58 PM ^

in years past had a couple kids whose ages were very questionable as the kids looked like they could go to a bar and not get carded.  But in the end because of the political embarrassment to the country involved the little league did a frozen and let it go.  I understand the irrefutable and clear violation nature of this BUT...it's unconscionable to take away this title from a group of 12 year olds for errors made by adults. On top of that this was the first all African American team to win the title.  Curiously something not right about that, I know it's the rules... 


February 11th, 2015 at 7:33 PM ^

accurate in the 68 year history the title has been stripped twice before, 1992 the Philippines for fielding a national team, and again in 2001 a team from NY had a 14 year old pitcher.  Did race have something to do with this year's DQ?   Probably not but it's curious as I said and unfortunate. The difference is the previous DQs were obvious violations that the adults in charge had to know it was wrong. This probably could be categorized as sloppy-adults not double checking and not intentional.  Doesn't matter now, you are right, they broke the rules.  


February 12th, 2015 at 9:41 AM ^

that this a grey area. In both previous DQs the 14 year old on the NY team knew he was ineligible admitted it. The Philipines team kids and parents knew they werent a regional team. the Chicago team no kids knew anything about being ineligible. So I am saying the punishment should fit the crime, strip coaches names from the records, ban the coaches-manager from participating in youth baseball but allow the kids to retain the title. That would seem more appropriate here.


February 12th, 2015 at 12:58 PM ^

as I would like to due to work.   I understand your rules are rules take on this.  My point of punishment to fit the transgression can be illustrated another way.  Lets say you are a journalism major aspiring to be a writer/blogger and you wrote a thesis for a class and the rule on plagiarism was that if a plagiarism software picked up a string of 8 then the paper was deemed plagiarized.  Your 2000 word thesis contains exactly a single string of 8.  You didnt bother to check because you know you didnt plagiarize.  But there it is, you violated the rule and your paper is not accepted and you now have on your record that you have plagiarized another work.  Should this be a permanent black mark against you impeding your career and forever after you must explain this on every job interview and application?  Seems a bit drastic for a minor transgression of the rules doesnt it?   Thats all I am saying.  I do not know enough about how much the kids knew or didnt know to really base an accurate opinion but I am in the corner of supporting the kids and not taking something away that they won on the field of play for something relatively minor that might be unintentional. 


February 12th, 2015 at 1:24 PM ^

Have you read any of the articles on this? I find it hard to believe that you could keep arguing that this is just some sort of mix up if you have the facts. This was a fairly complex scheme involving several levels of authority, not just some kids "accidentally" landing on the team. The plagiarism comparison is completely off base.


February 12th, 2015 at 10:25 AM ^

The parents falsified documents provided to the league. Even if the kids had no idea that it was wrong (which I find very hard to believe), their parents are responsible for the cheating as well as the coaches and administrators. I feel bad for the kids if they really didn't know what was going on, but it isn't fair to say they should keep their title that was won with other leagues' players.


February 12th, 2015 at 9:49 AM ^

So Little League is super racist against African Americans, but totally cool with South Americans (many of whom are also black) cheating? Yeah, that makes sense.

This cheating was blatant and there was indisputable evidence - that's what got them punished. I doubt Little League wants to strip anyone of a title, too much bad press, and would probably sweep it under the rug if there was even a hint of doubt. But there's just no plausible deniability, and we've got to protect our phones-baloney jobs here.

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February 12th, 2015 at 1:08 PM ^

the point is that they looked the other way in similar cases involving other countries for political reasons but not this time for the Chicago team.  Does that mean its a racist plot? Of course not but put yourself in the kids and that communities position.  They want to know why a minor transgression is being used to DQ the team-as 2 of the parents have publically stated.  As I said in an above response I don't know enough about the investigation details to really carry this further but I have a feeling we havent heard the last of this and those details will likely become available soon.


February 12th, 2015 at 6:24 PM ^

And you missed what I said. This isn't some arguable violation of a minor technicality. This was a knowing, organized effort to circumvent what is, other than age, probably the most important aspect of player eligibility.

And if you're going to state as fact conspiracy theories about how LL "looked the other way" for "political reasons", you should probably at least read a little about what the Chicago team actually did.

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Fred Garvin

February 11th, 2015 at 8:33 PM ^

...for the crimes of others.

Convicts have kids, and those kids need their fathers/mothers.  Does that mean you don't send their parents to prison?

One would think the coach of that team will think twice before doing that again, though I wonder how many other teams in that tournament had violations as well.  I don't for one second believe Chicago was the only team violating a rule. 

The LLWS has become big.  Too big for its own good.

03 Blue 07

February 11th, 2015 at 7:01 PM ^

The kids could've had those thoughts that they weren't supposed to be on the JRW team. . . and just as likely, if they voiced those thoughts, then had their parents and coaches tell them everything is okay and they are legit. It doesn't seem logical that the parents would let the kids "in" on the impropriety of the situation, other than maybe to tell them not to talk about it. It's a very sad story here in Chicago, and is embarassing/bad for the Jackie Robinson West organization, which is unfortunate for lots of kids (though deserved). 


February 11th, 2015 at 7:12 PM ^

Stripping JRW of the title is probably the right thing to do. That said, I would like to see an investigation completed on the other 15 U.S. teams in Williamsport. Before you rush to anoint Las Vegas the new U.S. champs, you better be damn sure they are squeaky clean otherwise what's the point of giving it to anyone this year?

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