Controversy over forfeited baseball game

A planned baseball game between Walter Payton College Prep and Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep Saturday night was cancelled after Payton couldn’t field enough players to participate.

Brooks baseball coach Bryan Street tells WGN-TV Payton’s coach, William Wittleder, blamed the forfeiture on a group of parents who refused to allow their children to participate due to safety concerns at the South Side school.  The high school is located at 250 E. 111th St. in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood.

CPS officials, however, are telling a different story. A spokesperson for Chicago Public Schools says there are several reasons why there weren’t enough Payton players available to participate, including scheduling and transportation issues, and players benched for missing practice.  In an email to parents, Payton Principal Timothy Devine said the forfeiture was the result of “leadership issues within the baseball team.”

In a joint statement, Devine and Brooks HS Principal D’Andre Weaver said, “This has been a very unfortunate misunderstanding between our school communities. We spoke today about the situation leading up to the forfeit of Saturday’s game and feel it is time to move past this and allow our student athletes to focus on their futures. We look forward to both of our schools meeting on the field again soon.”

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