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Payton, Brooks Baseball Teams Meet to Clear Air After Canceled Game

By Ted Cox | May 3, 2013 12:17pm | Updated on May 3, 2013 4:48pm
  Chicago Public Schools brought players together for powwow before rescheduled game next week.
Payton, Brooks Baseball Teams Meet to Clear Air After Canceled Game
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DOWNTOWN — Payton and Brooks College Prep baseball players were called to a breakfast meeting at Chicago Public Schools headquarters to clear the air before their game next Saturday.

The two teams arrived in separate buses at 9:30 a.m. Friday and met for about an hour.

"Awesome," said one Brooks player getting off the bus. "We get out of school."

Neither team paused to address reporters before or after the meeting. But one Payton official said, "It was great," and a Brooks player added, "It was great, great experience."

"Today, players from the Payton and Brooks baseball teams came together as proud CPS student athletes demonstrating the same strength and dignity they show in school and on the field every day," said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett in a statement issued afterward. "They are ready to move forward and focus on their studies and their season."

Payton forfeited a game at Brooks last weekend, in part because of parent concerns about violence in the Roseland neighborhood but also because of transportation issues, CPS added. Brooks students said they "felt judged" by the snub. Mayor Rahm Emanuel showed his support by attending a game there earlier this week.

Payton coach William Wittleder apologized to his Brooks counterpart, initiating the controversy, but was returned to action following a meeting with Byrd-Bennett.

The rescheduled game is to be played at Brooks at 7 p.m. May 11.