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Sparks Journey from Little League to College

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  • This coach has to work with the HS coach in the future. Has the HS coach called to ask what happened?
    efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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    • The high school coach was fired months ago.


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      • Presumably the school has (a) some sort of Honor Code that can penalize students for lying, including for raising demonstrably false charges against others, and (b) a student conduct office by which students can report wrongdoing done to them by others. Usually schools want these matters initiated at the outset by the students themselves, so it would behoove Sparks Jr. to go into the student conduct office and find out how such a report could be made if he chooses to do so. Then, he can contact the girl and explain what has happened and explain to her that - if she and the others who apparently did the deed to her car don't go to the coach and/or the AD, Sparks Jr. will be forced to initiate a student misconduct proceeding to clear his name. He can explain that he has no desire to get others in trouble, but if the misconduct of others will essentially end a baseball career that he's struggled to keep alive over the past ten years unless the matter is straightened out, he will have no choice.

        With this said, let's step back a bit. First, it's October, so give the baseball coach a couple of days to hear what's happening and then see if Sparks Jr. can go and talk to him again. Maybe a quick note or email can break the ice - something like, "I would like to talk to you about your decision to dismiss me from the team based on unsupported allegations that I damaged someone else's property. As I explained to you, I was not even in town when it happened, and I understand that it was the teammates of the complaining student who have since confessed to the act. Please let me know if there are some issues or facts that I'm not aware of that are impacting this situation, so I can address them. Please understand that the opportunity to play baseball for this team is one of the most important things in my college life, and I trust that you would not want that opportunity to be lost based on a misunderstanding that is easily straightened out." If the coach doesn't respond, you have a pretty good argument to get higher-ups involved, albeit as a last resort.

        Stepping even further back: it doesn't make sense that the coach would stick to the dismissal if someone else confessed. Either there's something else going on, or you're not getting the full story from your boy. He's made mistakes before and has been slow to own up to them. So has my son - it's part of sending them off to college. So, let him know that if you go to bat for him and there's something important that he's not telling you, he not only reduces your effectiveness as an advocate, there will be severe repercussions.
        sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.

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        • Originally posted by JetSixty View Post
          This is big boy ball, not the LL board. The coach would see this as a threat to negotiate the kid's way back on the team. It would guarantee the kid never played at the school again or for any coach in this coach's network (which is probably large).
          You CAN'T use a veiled threat to get back on the baseball team, it just wouldn't work.

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          • After further thought here's what I think ...

            When a girl TPs a boy's vehicle it's either a cute attention getting prank or it's malicious. When it's perceived the boy returned the action with a malicious action (oil on her car) I'll go with the first act was malicious. There's something going on between these two and it's not happy time. The coach is aware of it and doesn't want anything to do with it even if the kid didn't perform the return act.

            They may have slept together, he walked away and she's ticked. If this is the case he should be fortunate she didn't go with the big payback accusation. Or they have been at each other since the beginning of school and it escalated. I just believe there's more to this than the two exchanges whether your grandson was involved in the car incident or not.

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            • Just heard from my boy. Both girls went and told the head coach that it was a mistake and they were sorry. All I know is the coach simply said he was not letting my boy back on the team. That is all I know if I knew anything else I would post it.

              Coach will not return my email nor will he talk to Levi.

              I do know before this happened my boy was one of only 2 non scholarship players traveling with the team and was playing. He had the best stats on the pitching staff.

              I just don't know. My heart is broke.


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              • Originally posted by Ursa Major View Post
                Stepping even further back: it doesn't make sense that the coach would stick to the dismissal if someone else confessed. Either there's something else going on, or you're not getting the full story from your boy. He's made mistakes before and has been slow to own up to them. So has my son - it's part of sending them off to college. So, let him know that if you go to bat for him and there's something important that he's not telling you, he not only reduces your effectiveness as an advocate, there will be severe repercussions.
                I was sitting on the sidelines on this one, because I was having a hard time finding the appropriate words to voice what Ursa said so diplomatically.

                Unfortunately at the HS over the years, I had the unpleasant job on several occasions, of removing a player from the squad for code of conduct violations.

                All I can tell you is that during the player/parent meeting that happens in roughly 25% of the cases, it's amazing at the "information" that the parent comes to the meeting with, compared to the information/facts they leave with.

                Not once did a parent meeting ever get the student reinstated on the team, and for the most part, I don't believe a single parent thought the player should have been, after learning the real reason(s) for the dismissal.

                Now I'm not trying to implicate SparksJr. of any wrongdoing, or trying to play judge and jury in this case...only stating that sometimes, what is told to a parent or loved one as the reason for dismissal, is not always 100% the case of the real happenings in the event(s).

                I wish the best for SparksJr., and hope that in this case, it truly is just one big misunderstanding.


                Best of luck to all involved,
                mud -
                In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                • If I take everything as written as being true, then the coach probably doesn't want to reverse the dismissal because it is an admission that he probably overreacted in the first place.

                  At the same time there is also the possibility that he just doesn't want to have to deal with drama, and right or wrong - drama was dumped on his desk in relation to your son.

                  We can sit outside of the situation and say that the coach is being unreasonable, but we might feel differently if it was us that had to deal with it as it unfolded.

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                  • Originally posted by Sparksdale View Post
                    Just heard from my boy. Both girls went and told the head coach that it was a mistake and they were sorry. All I know is the coach simply said he was not letting my boy back on the team. That is all I know if I knew anything else I would post it.

                    Coach will not return my email nor will he talk to Levi.

                    I do know before this happened my boy was one of only 2 non scholarship players traveling with the team and was playing. He had the best stats on the pitching staff.

                    I just don't know. My heart is broke.


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                    He probably wasn't going to make the team. Stats in fall ball aren't a big deal. Some players are working on something and sticking with it regardless of the result. This situation just made him an easy cut. Had he worked himself up to where he would have been a factor in the spring he might have received a hard slap on the wrists. Unfortunately it means he's not on the team to have a shot at being a factor the second year. The other possibility is there's more to this story than you're being told. But coaches don't have any patience with marginal players. A walk on is considered marginal until proven otherwise.

                    What your grandson learned is baseball will live on long after his baseball days are done. No one is that important. Coaches don't like hassles. Coaches really don't like exposure to the college administration over problems with their athletes.

                    This doesn't mean your grandson is done playing baseball. He should be looking now for the most competitive summer team environment he can find. I don't know JuCo transfer rules. If he transfers in January I don't know if he's eligible for the spring. While it may not be possible to make another school's team in the spring maybe he could work a deal where he keeps score or is an equipment manager in exchange for getting in some practice time with the team. There's also transferring after the first year. Another angle is to get into the right summer league and make JuCo coaches aware he's pitching there.

                    He better come up with a good version of the truth about what happened at the current school. The tendency will be not to believe him.

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                    • What to do going forward? What now?

                      1. Hang up the cleats?

                      2. Did he just not make the team? Could he make it next year?

                      3. Is the coach done with him? Start putting out feelers at other JUCO teams?

                      Someone needs to speak to the coach to find out if it would be possible to make the team next year.

                      If you choose #2 or #3, then just keep working hard at your craft, and get faster.
                      Last edited by songtitle; 10-15-2014, 10:50 AM.
                      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                      • Will the JC coach give a recommendation to other programs?
                        WAR EAGLE!

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                        • Probably (never say never) my last comment unless someone posts something incredibly enlightening.

                          He has two options. He can give up on baseball or find another playing option. The path he selects says something about his character and maturity. The wall wasn't put up to keep him out. The wall was put up to see how badly he wants in.

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                          • Originally posted by JetSixty View Post
                            If he transfers in January I don't know if he's eligible for the spring. While it may not be possible to make another school's team in the spring maybe he could work a deal where he keeps score or is an equipment manager in exchange for getting in some practice time with the team.
                            He could transfer and walk-on at another school, depending on when they have their tryouts...which may have already happened.

                            He better come up with a good version of the truth about what happened at the current school. The tendency will be not to believe him.
                            He was a walk-on, so there really is no good version that needs to be stated. Doesn't even need to mention the other team. He just transferred, preferably to a school closer to home for personal reasons.

                            Depending on how many classes he has/had, or how well he's doing in them (number of transferable credits he have to redo), but he can also have his records sealed at his current school, and it's like he's just starting now. The other school cannot disclose that he was even there...it's like his time there never happened.
                            Last edited by mudvnine; 10-15-2014, 11:45 AM.
                            In memory of "Catchingcoach" - Dave Weaver: February 28, 1955 - June 17, 2011

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                            • Update;
                              My boy was waiting to tell me till he came home to visit but a couple of weeks ago he was informed he was getting an 80 percent scholarship starting next semester.
                              Of course this was before everything happened.

                              We have found out through other sources that my boy was telling the truth and everything happened while he was at my house 3 hours away.

                              Today my boy went one last time to talk to the coach to explain he wasn't involved and wanted to be on the team.

                              The coach said no.

                              My boy asked why?

                              Coach said he did not believe the girls when they apologized and basically said they were lying to protect him.

                              My boy has gotten calls of support from his high school coaches and teammates. It helps that they are supporting him.

                              Life isn't fair sometimes it kicks you in the gut. To be honest I don't want him to play for a coach that doesn't support him so we will move on.

                              I'm not sure how things work but these few weeks he's proven he is at least a D3 college player. So I'm going to see what I can do to find him another school.

                              Sparks


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                              • Sparks, I sent you a PM.

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