Local News

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.”


13 Comments to “Controversy over forfeited baseball game”

    k. miller said:
    April 28, 2013 at 10:00 PM

    I do not believe this is racially motivated. I believe it's based on the fact that Roseland is a high crime area, and the visitors would not feel safe at 7PM. I taught at this school in the l980's, when it was Mendel Catholic High School. Our students were African American, and the neighborhood was African American, but it was NOT a high crime area. Our students were wonderful young men, and I never felt unsafe in the area. Now, however, students at Gwendolyn Brooks have been robbed on their way to school, and Roseland has one of the highest crime rates in the city.

      kirby1414 said:
      April 28, 2013 at 10:09 PM

      I agree with your post and thoughts…I also remember when Roseland was a lovely community – but would not drive in that area – day or night!

        kirby1414 said:
        April 28, 2013 at 10:10 PM


        I would NOT drive there NOW… some years back – it was fine!

    spoolie said:
    April 29, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    For one thing it's not roseland it's pullman. Second I don.t blame forfeiting the game due to personal safety concerns. The norm for this hood is a lot of shooting and people being shot.

    k. miller said:
    April 29, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    To spoolie: Gwendolyn Brooks school is in the Roseland area. Pullman is the adjacent community.
    Check the Official City of Chicago Map if you want to verify, but what's important is that this is a sad situation for the baseball players at Gwendolyn Brooks who didn't get to play because they are in an area which is dangerous. The gangbangers ruin it for the good kids. I still maintain that this wasn't a racial issue, but one of personal safety.

    sharong4 said:
    April 29, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    This is not a racial issue. My grandson goes to Walter Payton. The gang violence is just toooooo bad on the South side.

    joe said:
    April 29, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    The FEAR of crime and violence in Chicago is real. Call it what you want to serve your purpose. You cannot sugercoat it.

    Bob said:
    April 29, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    It's not a raciel thing it's all the crime and the shootings going on I don't blame those parents at all just watch the news eveyday there is shootings and crime it's not worth it. I drive a school bus and I even refuse to drive to these neighborhoods years ago it was no big thing now I don't feel safe anyplace in Chicago.

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