Opinion: Jackie Robinson West “super team” confirms problem in Little League Baseball

Another great story from the Little League World Series is ruined.

The Chicago-based Jackie Robinson West Little League team was stripped of its United States Championship and all wins from the 2014 Little League World Series for violating a rule prohibiting the use of players living outside the geographic area the team represents.

Part of the wins taken away not only includes the U.S. Championship, but also the Great Lakes Regional Championship.

Their manager, Darold Butler, was suspended from Little League activity and the Illinois District 4 administration Michael Kelly was removed from his position.

The Little League found the Jackie Robinson West team used a falsified boundary map, and team officials met with neighboring Little League districts in Illinois to claim players to build a “super team.”

Ironically, one of the biggest reasons this team was fun to watch was because of the sportsmanship they showed.

But that came from the kids actually playing, not the adults behind the scenes who ruined everything yet again.

This falsifying boundary issue has been an ongoing problem around the country on this level that maybe people would know who were involved in Little League, but now the whole country knows, hopefully finally raising awareness of just how wrong the adults are and have always been when involved with this “dirty dealing” as described by President Obama.

This is only the second time a situation like this has become a national story.

That was in 1992 when the Little League took the title away from the Philippines.

It hasn’t been brought to national attention often, and now it should.

It’s extremely disappointing and quite frankly, a head scratcher, that Little League still cannot find a solution to better police this situation, when it has happened many times besides those three occurrences.

Jackie Robinson West wasn’t caught until meetings in January and never reported it to Little League International.

That’s as bad as it gets.

Little League meets with each district administrator, who’s in charge of verifying player eligibility.

Background checks of each team before the tournament need to drastically change. More executives on Little League’s end need to be more involved to further investigate, making sure teams are following through with the rules.

It’s just that simple.

Also, Jackie Robinson West’s coach should be fired as well, especially since the District administrator was removed.

Looking at this punishment alone, taking away the two titles and all the wins does nothing.

You can’t undo games that took place.

That just shows you were too late catching a team cheating behind the scenes yet again.

Great job, Little League.

Great job, adults associated with Jackie Robinson West.

If you’re so desperate that you have to cheat your way around to have your child be successful, not just in sports, but whatever they do in life, they can earn their success without you.

And finally, sorry to the Jackie Robinson West players.

But at the same time, they should be commended for what they still accomplished, and how they’ve handled a tough situation like this.

They’re the ones who truly lose because of this.

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