Little League International said Tuesday that a decision on the cheating allegations against Jackie Robinson West could come as early as Wednesday, officials said.
The parent organization's Charter Committee met Tuesday to review findings into allegations that Jackie Robinson West had used players from outside its boundaries to add players to its squad that captured the U.S. championship last summer.
Little League re-opened its investigation into cheating allegations after DNAinfo.com Chicago reported new information about changes made to the boundary map which took players who belonged to other South Side leagues.
In December, DNAinfo Chicago first reported that Evergreen Park Athletic Association vice president Chris Janes had filed a formal complaint with the Pennsylvania-based youth sports organization accusing Jackie Robinson West officials of “manipulating, bending and blatantly breaking the rules for the sole purpose of winning at all costs.”
Little League International spokesman Brian McClintock confirmed Tuesday that the decision could come Wednesday but declined to elaborate.
The Jackie Robinson West case gained wider attention this week after officials with the Las Vegas-based team that Jackie Robinson West defeated for the U.S. championship told DNAinfo Chicago that the Chicago squad should be stripped of the title. The name "Jackie Robinson West" trended on Twitter Tuesday while the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and ESPN were among news outlets reporting of the meeting of the Little League charter committee.
Jackie Robinson West officials have been mostly tight-lipped as the case has unfolded, though have told DNAinfo they are innocent of violating any Little League rules.
Initially, after the DNAinfo reports, Little League International was steadfast in supporting Jackie Robinson West. But in a series of intense closed-door meetings in Chicago earlier this month, leaders of sister teams, some of whom said Jackie Robinson West poached players from them, told Little League International officials new details:
• In October 2013, all District 4 league presidents had agreed on “clearly defined” boundaries in 2013 — the season before Jackie Robinson West leaders secretly expanded their territory to overlap existing leagues.
• South Side, Rosemoor and Roseland league presidents confirmed they did not approve any changes made to Jackie Robinson West’s 2014 boundaries that infringed on their territory, protected under charter agreements with Little League International.
• After winning the U.S. Championship, Jackie Robinson West officials, with help from district administrator Mike Kelley, made a failed attempt to ask sister leagues to agree to boundary changes that already had been filed with Little League International without their permission, sources said.
When that news broke, the president and coach of the Las Vegas team that lost to Jackie Robinson West in the World Series semi-final game contacted DNAinfo to call on Little League international to strip the Chicago team of the U.S. Title.
Kristi Black, the president of Nevada's Mountain Ridge Little League when the team lost to Jackie Robinson West, told DNAinfo Chicago that she is concerned the U.S. title already “has an asterisk on it like the one on Barry Bonds' home run record,” and the Las Vegas team “rightfully deserves to be recognized as the legitimate team that went the farthest” in the World Series tournament.
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