CHICAGO (CBS) — Little League International officials have stripped Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West team of its national title from last summer’s Little League World Series, for allegedly adding top suburban players in violation of residency rules.
Little League officials determined that “the Jackie Robinson West Little League and Illinois District 4 Administrator 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.”
As a result, Jackie Robinson has vacated all its wins from the 2014 Little League tournament, including its regional and U.S. championships. The U.S. title from the Little League World Series will go to Mountain Ridge Little League of Las Vegas.
“For more than 75 years, Little League has been an organization where fair play is valued over the importance of wins and losses,” said Mr. Stephen D. Keener, Little League International President and CEO. “This is a heartbreaking decision. What these players accomplished on the field and the memories and lessons they have learned during the Little League World Series tournament is something the kids can be proud of, but it is unfortunate that the actions of adults have led to this outcome. As our Little League operations staff learned of the many issues and actions that occurred over the course of 2014 and prior, as painful as this is, we feel it a necessary decision to maintain the integrity of the Little League program. No team can be allowed to attempt to strengthen its team by putting players on their roster that live outside their boundaries.”