Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Is Jerico Scott Too Talented For Youth Baseball or Is He Unfairly Being Targeted?
Civil rights issues once again rear its head in sports. Does a nine year old boy have a constitutional right to play youth baseball? The court system in New Haven, Connecticut may end up deciding this question as it pertains to nine-year-old Jericho Scott. (Photo at Left courtesy of A.P.) Jerico Scott is a good right-hand pitcher who can throw a 40mph fastball. The Youth Baseball League of New Haven has allegedly told Scott's coach that Scott could not pitch any more. When Jericho attempted to take the mound last week, the opposing team forfeited the game. The league has eight teams and about 100 players. It intends to disband Jericho's team (Will Power Fitness) and redistribute its players. Jericho's coach, Wilfred Vidro, allegedly resigned over the incident. But Vidro claims that he has not quit and the team refuses to disband. Players and parents protested Saturday requesting that Jericho be allowed to pitch. (Apparently Jerico has never hurt any one and by most accounts is an accurate pitcher.)
Is there a deeper, more sinister plot? Some say Jerico may be unfairly targeted because he turned down an invitation to join the defending league champion team which is sponsored by the employer of one of the league's administrators. The league denies any such reason. League attorney, Peter Noble, claims that the only reason in banning Jericho from pitching is that his pitches are just too fast for a co-ed developmental league of 8 to 10 year olds.
Attorney John Williams may meet with Jericho's parents to discuss legal options. Will a court soon be deciding if playing youth baseball is a right or a revocable privilege?