Payton, Brooks Players Meet For Breakfast

Meeting billed as way to promote fellowship after controversial game cancellation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Payton baseball players leave Friday's breakfast meeting at CPS headquarters.

    Baseball players from Walter Payton College Prep and Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep met for breakfast Friday morning in a further attempt to mend fences after a planned game was canceled last weekend over safety concerns.

    Payton's coach, William Wittleder, said the reason his team didn't make the trip was because some parents feared for their kids' safety at an evening game in the Roseland neighborhood. CPS officials insist the cancellation was related to transportation issues, and blamed Wittleder for dropping the ball.

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    The game has been rescheduled for May 11 at the South Side school, but Friday's breakfast at the CPS downtown headquarters was a way to build fellowship between the two teams.

    The coaches were not allowed to attend the breakfast, and none of the attendees commented while entering the facility.

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    CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who was scheduled to speak to the players at the breakfast, released the following statement:

      "Today, players from the Payton and Brooks baseball teams came together as proud CPS student-athletes demonstrating the same strength and dignity they show in school and on the field every day. They are ready to move forward and focus on their studies and their season."

    Wittleder, who returned to the bench for Tuesday's game, has not publicly commented on the situation since initially telling the Chicago Sun-Times that the parents' safety concerns was the reason for the initial cancellation.