Parents of former Little League baseball players from Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West squad filed a lawsuit Thursday against Little League International and the local league, according to David Matthews and Mark Konkol of the website DNAinfo, for allegedly electing to ignore potential concerns about players’ eligibility to generate additional revenue.
In February 2015, Little League stripped the Chicago-based squad of the U.S. championship it won at the prior year’s Little League World Series after determining it used players that lived outside of its boundaries. In a statement, the organization said Jackie Robinson West “knowingly expanded its boundaries to include territory that belonged to other leagues in the district” and “used a falsified boundary map” for the competition.
In the lawsuit filed Thursday, former Jackie Robinson West coach Darold Butler and more than a dozen parents of the team’s former players, alleged “Little League was aware of the potential residency issues” of some of the players, “but chose to ignore and/or deliberately conceal these facts in order to garner higher ratings, publicity, and money.” The suit claims Butler submitted each child’s residency documents and a boundary map to Little League, which was “responsible for reviewing and scrutinizing the residency documents with the boundary map, and then confirming the eligibility of each player participating in the tournament.” However, Little League raised no such concerns until a month after the world series concluded.
In mid-December 2014, Little League International’s senior vice president of operations, Pat Wilson, told
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.