The leaders of the Jackie Robinson West Little League team have made the first move in dropping their lawsuit against the league, according to a new report.
DNAinfo reports that attorney Victor Henderson filed a motion last week to withdraw the team's case in the Cook County Circuit Court. The lawsuit against Little League International sought answers after the league stripped the team of its championship title earlier this year.
Henderson released a statement Tuesday saying, "The game is far from over." The attorney did not directly address whether he filed a motion to withdraw the lawsuit, however.
"Through its recent legal filings, Little League has chosen to be deceitful and dishonest by withholding material and critical information," Henderson said in the statement. "Instead of taking a transparent and honest approach, Little League is acting like a corporate conglomerate doing everything it can to protect its image and financial interests. This is a travesty, especially because little kids are the ones who are taking the brunt of their tactic. Legal disputes, just like baseball games, don't take place in one inning. For now, I simply encourage everyone to be patient. The game is far from over."
Little League in February stripped the young team of its Little League World Series national championship title after officials determined the South Side team added top suburban players in violation of residency rules.
"This is a heartbreaking decision," Little League International President and CEO Stephen D. Keener said in a statement. "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."
In addition, team manager Darold Butler was suspended from Little League activity and Illinois District 4 Administrator Michael Kelly was removed from his position, Little League International spokesman Brian McClintock said in a statement.
McClintock said an investigation revealed that Butler and Kelly knowingly violated rules by using a falsified boundary map for their 2014 tournament and used players who didn't qualify because they lived outside the team's actual boundaries.
Jackie Robinson West officials have previously denied the team violated any residency rules or recruited outside players.