Former Little League District 4 administrator weighs in on JRW decision

Sarah Schulte Image
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Former Little League leader weighs in on JRW decision
Former district leader Victor Alexander says he was surprised to hear the allegations because he says JRW played by the rules during his tenure.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The former Little League district leader spoke about team residency requirements and the decision to strip JRW of its title.

Victor Alexander served as the District 4 administrator for almost 4 years. He stepped down before last year's baseball season. Alexander says during his tenure, he made sure all leagues, including Jackie Robinson West, stuck to their boundaries.

Alexander says he is disappointed that his replacement, Michael Kelley and JRW officials would violate the rules.

The Jackie Robinson West saga goes into extra innings as the team asks Little League International for more answers about the rules and regulations it violated.

"We want to make sure that whatever discretion should have been considered in favor of Jackie Robinson West was taken that way, because rules are not always applied evenhandedly," said Victor Henderson, JRW attorney.

But those familiar with Little League say there is very little discretion when it comes to applying the rules. Alexander is the former Little League administrator for the district that includes JRW. He stepped down in 2013.

Alexander says the rules are clearly spelled out. Based on the facts presented, Alexander says stripping the team of its title was the right choice.

"I think based on what they discovered to be factual, yes. (They made right decision?) Yes, they made the right decision," Alexander said.

Little League officials say JRW expanded its boundaries into territory belonging to other leagues and it did so without approval from the leagues. In addition, Little League officials said JRW used a falsified boundary map to get into the 2014 tournament. Alexander was surprised to hear the allegations because he says during his tenure as administrator, JRW played by the rules.

"People can speculate on if they were doing something that wasn't proper, but no one ever had any proof or provided any proof," Alexander said.

As administrator, Alexander says he worked hard to establish league boundaries. He says, as a coach, playing by the rules is all part of the Little League experience.

"Our motto was that, we are out there for more than just winning baseball games, we're giving kids life skills to take away from baseball," Alexander said.

Since Wednesday's announcement, many have asked why Little League International had to punish the kids rather than just impose a separate penalty on the adults.

Alexander said that according to Little League rules, that is not an option.