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JRW still champions, but a little wiser

Players learn valuable lesson about integrity

Jackie Robinson West coach Darold Butler and his players celebrate this summer after their US championship.  The team was recently stripped of its title after it was revealed that the team extended its boundaries to add players to its roster.

Courtesy of MCT Campus (2/17/15)

Jackie Robinson West coach Darold Butler and his players celebrate this summer after their US championship. The team was recently stripped of its title after it was revealed that the team extended its boundaries to add players to its roster.

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Recently, the Jackie Robinson West Little League baseball team that won the US championship and took second in the world in a riveting match against South Korea has been stripped of its national and international titles.

The District Administrator and Coach of the team permitted kids to play who were out of the geographic area that is allowed to join that particular team. This unfortunate act was discovered as the team became more successful and underwent more scrutiny. Everything appeared in order, but an initial investigation revealed that some players may not be living within the district to play for the Jackie Robinson West team. A further investigation was conducted which revealed that not only did the coach know about the players living out of district, but so did the coaches of other teams who just said nothing. I believe that this speaks volumes about the integrity of the adults.

In Chicago, you can ask almost anyone about the All Star team and their opinion, and they will give you a response about how it is unfair to the kids that are being punished for what adults have done. While that may be a fair point and an easy argument to defend, I think that the team losing its title may have been the best thing to happen to the kids.

Everyone on that worked incredibly hard and accomplished a feat that most can only dream of, and it may seem cruel and unusual to take away that hard work for someone else’s actions, we have to look at the bigger picture. The kids on the team witnessed, first hand, how cheating has negative consequences. Perhaps more importantly however, they also learned how their actions can affect other people’s lives even though they were not involved in any way.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel is giving each player a championship ring so the players are still leaving with a tangible memory of their efforts. While I may be upset that the team lost its titles and trophies, I am  glad to see that they are still keeping something, and I think that it is important for us to take a step back and look at the bigger picture on controversial events like this. While it may not be fair to the kids, they learned a valuable truth, there are consequences for their actions, even if they are national champions.

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
JRW still champions, but a little wiser