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South Bay Little League Controversy Turns Nasty

Park View and Eastlake Little Leagues are in a fight that is all off the field and has little to do with the game of baseball.

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    South Bay Little League Controversy Turns Nasty

    NBC 7 Investigates

    (Published Wednesday, July 18, 2018)

    Two little leagues in south bay District 42 that normally play ball nicely together are now in a fight that's turning nasty. But it's all taking place off the field and has little to do with the game of baseball. 

    Some of the little league parents have resorted to hiring a private investigator and now, they are being threatened with legal action. 

    All of this while Park View Little League’s 12U team has made it to the Little League All-Stars Tournament. 

    The dispute between both leagues centers around where players live and the schools they attend. 

    According to several sources within the south bay little league community, the dispute started when some of the Eastlake Little League parents hired a private investigator to look into three Park View Little League players, specifically where they live and what schools they attend. 

    In the report, that private investigator states he discovered evidence that shows the players do not live where they had listed when they joined the team. 

    With the private investigator's report attached, Eastlake parents filed a "protest" or complaint with the Little League International's headquarters out of Williamsport, PA. The complaint alleges the players are ineligible to play given the players had "violated residency and school verifications" in order to be on the team. 

    "You have to establish residency with your family within the boundaries of the team you're going to play for," Attorney Bob Ottilie said. 

    Ottilie has no involvement with this case but has worked youth sports for more than 20 years. 

    No Eastlake parents NBC 7 Investigates spoke to would talk on-record, out of fear and the intense scrutiny they've faced since filing this complaint. 

    NBC 7 Investigates contacted the Little League International's office and Kevin Fountain, Director of Communications, said, "Based on the information that has been provided, Little League International has not found any reason to deem Park View Little League ineligible from the Little League International Tournament." 

    “Should additional information become available, the Little League International Tournament Committee will take that information under review and consideration,” Fountain said. 

    "We all need to wait and see what the facts are," Ottilie said. "Nobody should be using player names and nobody should face retaliation because they highlight a rule that's designed to help kids for fair play." 

    That's not what is happening though in this case. 

    Last Wednesday, Park View Little League's Board of Directors sent Eastlake Little League's Board of Directors a letter, accusing Eastlake parents of "defamation" and for invading the privacy of Park View's players and their parents. 

    The letter demands Eastlake parents to "cease their harmful behavior" and states, "Park View Little League will take all necessary actions under law." 

    Eastlake Little League's team is no longer in the tournament while Park View's 12U team has advanced to sectionals.

    NBC 7 Investigates will have air our full report Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. on NBC 7.