Adults Cheat, Kids Suffer

Written by joshuagurnick

There is nothing worse than children suffering at the hands of an adults’ wrongdoing.  

Fourteen boys made up the Jackie Robinson West Little League team that claimed the American National Title at the 2014 Little League World Series.  The team went on to represent the United States in the Championship game against a team from North Korea. Though the Jackie Robinson West team lost the championship, they showed the world that an all-black boys team 11- to 13- years old from Chicago’s South Side could accomplish incredible feats despite the odds. 


Unfortunately, a cheating scandal has now overshadowed the team’s success. On February 11th, 2015, the 14 young baseball players from the Chicago’s South Side were punished and humiliated in the national spotlight. The team was forced to vacate all of their wins because of rule violations by team officials, managers, and coaches.

It was determined by Little League International Charter/Tournament Committee that “the Jackie Robinson West league and Illinois District 4 administration knowingly violated Little League International Rules and Regulations by placing players on their team who did not qualify to play because they lived outside the team’s boundaries.” 

In other words, 14 talented and innocent ballplayers were punished for the actions of a few adults that were caught cheating.

The decision that was reach by the Little League’s committee is almost as inexcusable as the cheaters’ actions.  Those children played their hearts out. They played great fundamental baseball, worked as a team, and accomplished incredible things on the baseball diamond. Administrators cheated and then the league committee punished the kids. There is absolutely no reason to take away what those boys accomplished.

The only acceptable actions would have been to punish those administrators that were responsible for violating the league rules. Fines, suspensions or termination would have been acceptable forms of punishment because they do not affect the innocent kids. Fines were handed out and some official were fired, but it went too far when they decided to take away the accomplishments of the Jackie Robinson West Team. 

Baseball has always been called a kids game, lets keep it that way.



Comments: 3

  1. Adults must live with their actions. They are responsible for the cheating that rightfully deprived the team of its title. The fact remains that a team was assembled in a manner that violated official rules. It was a team that should not have even been allowed to compete. Had the violations come to light sooner, the team would have been disbanded.
    Let me offer another example.
    If the adults had allowed older boys on the team in violation of age rules, you could still make great arguments about teamwork, and effort, perseverance and such, but any wins achieved by this team would be unfairly earned, and thus should be negated, no matter who is at fault. It is a tough lesson to learn, but it’s a good old saying…….Cheaters Never Prosper, and often the so called innocent are severely affected by the cheaters.
    Now I definitely feel that the kids were cheated, but not by any official committee, but rather by the parents, coaches, and adult team leaders, who conspired to create a team of kids that should never have existed in the first place.

  2. Pingback: Joshua gurnick