Though it’s heartbreaking to watch what the children went through, it’s not unexpected that Jacki Robinson West’s US Little League title was taken owing to infringement of the league’s regulations regarding acquiring players from beyond the league’s defined bounds. Cheating has long been ingrained in the culture of child sports. Lance Armstrong, whose seven Tour de France victories were revoked due to his usage of performance-enhancing drugs, is another case.
Certain coaches have lately been attempting to underline that there are just a few terrible examples in youth sporting events and that not everyone is participating in such behavior. They are saying this because they do not want to terminate their coaching career by speaking the truth.
Although the Tri-Cities Soccer Association (TSCA) has a strong reputation and is regarded as superior to other teams, I was surprised to find a coach who was engaged in sports dishonesty.
Sockers FC is one of the earliest youth soccer clubs in Northern Illinois. They’ve been engaged in a number of things, yet they always manage to slip away without being noticed. The basic reason is that they have been in charge of the Northern Illinois League, and no one dares to oppose them. They would be out of the competition if they did. So now we know why they always seem to get away with it.
There have been several instances where parents have approached us and told us frightening things. Consider the following scenario:
- When you play a team many times over the season, it’s amazing to observe how their entire squad changes the second time you play them. The ones who did it the most were the sockers. They’d bring in players from greater tiers while keeping the ordinary kids on the sidelines.
- Teams would purposefully place themselves in inferior leagues in order to gain more victories. As expected, it was more prevalent with the Sockers, but other teams were also engaged in such methods.
- Another disturbing incidence involves the players’ ages. The majority of the opposing players were tall and appeared to have shaved their heads to look like children. Our main player was a tad smaller than our tiniest. Lincolnshire Lightning had a habit of doing this. They were adept at altering players’ age requirements.
- The Lincolnshire Lightning was the only club in league with an all-Hispanic roster. Their neighborhood and its immediate surroundings had a Hispanic population of 2%. All they did was deprive the clubs of their Hispanic players since they couldn’t afford to match their salaries.
Many parents were aware of the situation but lacked the guts to speak up. Everyone appears to be acting that everything is alright and that whatever is going on is normal. It’s all about persuading oneself that there’s nothing problematic with what’s going on.
The key difference between JRW and other small league clubs is that JRW was caught by accident, but there is no proof of any other team or player’s dishonesty.
We’re astonished to see the Evergreen Park League’s Vice President come forth and stand out against the misconduct. The only worry is that they may have to pay for it now.
Even though the JRW league authorities were aware of the illicit recruiting, they remained silent. Someone from a different little league mustered the fortitude to speak out against them.
As a result, we will be grateful for the dedication and correct decisions made by Little League International’s governing body. They looked into the situation and made some excellent judgments. In youth athletics, such things are uncommon.