The following letter was sent out today from Clayton Valley Little League.
The letter is in response to an incident where a Clayton Valley Charter High School Softball Coach kicked a team of special needs baseball players off a previously reserved field.
The letter, and other documents related to this story, are shown below:
Dear Little League Family,
On April 19, we sent you all a note about an incident that occurred with the CVCHS softball coach kicking our challenger kids off their reserved fields. This is to update you on the aftermath and status of the situation.
Immediately following the incident, we formally requested that the Executive Director, Dave Linzey, conduct an investigation and provide us with a formal response to the situation. Our purpose was to have the matter fully investigated and to ensure that this never happens again to our program. In response, Mr. Linzey conducted an investigation, which included discussions with Jim Brophy of our challenger program and also the softball coach, Kristen “Mo” Morley and V.P of Operations, Pat Middendorf. Following this investigation, CVLL received the following attached letters: one from Mr. Linzey and one from coach Mo.
Upon receipt of these letters, CVLL still has several outstanding concerns. These concerns have been addressed to the school in a follow up letter, which we also attach for your information.
While we are grateful that Mr. Linzey has apologized on behalf of CVCHS, has continued to treat CVLL with respect and has made it clear that this incident should not have happened, we believe that the heart of the issue has not been addressed by the responsible party, Pat Middendorf. In addition, Ms. Middendorf has not herself acknowledged or apologized for her breach of the agreement she was part of creating just six days before this incident. In an email to the league immediately following the incident, Ms. Middendorf, stated the following:
“Just got the phone calls about this. It was my understanding that not enough players showed up to need both fields. I told Mo she could use both fields if that was the case but she would have to make that call on the field. She tried earlier to call the person in charge of the Challengers to see if they would need both fields but they did not return her phone calls.”
Ms. Middendorf was part of our meeting with Mr. Linzey six days before wherein we agreed that the Challengers would have the two fields. She even texted during the meeting with either coach Mo or Athletic Director Amber Lineweaver and got confirmation that the softball program could and would move to one field for the two hour period the Challengers would be playing. During that meeting, it was made clear that CVLL, due to past history, did not trust coach Mo to do the right thing and that we wanted it dealt with at a higher level. Thus, the agreement made by Dave Linzey and Pat Middendorf. It was also made clear and agreed by both sides that to avoid any miscommunication, the further contact on field issues would be limited to the CVLL President, VP of baseball and player agent. Our problem with the email from Pat Middendorf is that not only is it inaccurate regarding the number of challenger players who showed up to play (5 teams showed up to play with their attendants) and the attempts to reach CVLL by the softball coach (no one in charge of Challengers got a phone call or message and no attempt was made to reach the league President or player agent despite the chain of command agreed to), but that Pat Middendorf directly went against the Agreement she made with CVLL and gave the softball coach the authority to make the call on the field. Further, Pat Middendorf never attempted to contact CVLL herself to see if something could be worked out. She merely gave her coach authority to do what she felt best, which guaranteed the outcome that occurred. In some regards, we do not blame the softball coach for doing what she did, as we knew that would happen, which is why went got the Agreement from the administration. In subsequent discussions with Mr. Linzey, it was clear he had no knowledge beforehand of Ms. Middendorf’s decision to breach the agreement that was made.
Importantly, while CVLL has received apologies from Mr. Linzey and coach Mo, we have not received anything from Ms. Middendorf, despite her also saying in an earlier email that “If the Challengers had four teams crowded onto one field and one was sent home then of course I owe everyone an apology, especially the Challengers.” The facts are clear on this point and no apology has been forthcoming.
In fact, Ms. Middendorf followed up this incident with the challengers with a follow up email that appeared to claim CVLL was sabotaging the fields in what we can only believe was an attempt to divert the issue. In this email regarding water issues (for which CVLL has dealt with repeatedly over the years and this year), she wrote the following:
“Our landscaper said this was not the work of vandals but only someone who knew where the valves and sprinklers were. This was deliberate and only a few people could do this. [Redacted to take out name] concurs with this. This was a labor intensive problem to find and fix. The bill for this will be considerable. We need some kind of assurance that these incidents will stop so that we can finish our softball season.”
CVLL promptly responded to this and the issue has been resolved with CVLL offering to provide CVCHS with all information it has regarding maintenance and issues with the landscaping that we have had over the years when we were in charge of the watering.
Why do we tell you all this? Because while we firmly believe that we can trust and believe Mr. Linzey regarding CVLL’s use of the fields, we remain concerned that further insubordination and breaches can occur due to Ms. Middendorf’s apparent refusal to accept responsibility for and apologize to CVLL and assure us she will not make unilateral decisions like this in the future.
If you feel as strongly about this as we do, we would ask that you attend the CVCHS Executive Board Meeting this Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. in the CVCHS library and ask the Board and Ms. Middendorf for an acknowledgment of responsibility and assurance that this type of incident will not occur in the future.
Finally, we want to once again make clear to all our families that CVLL remains firmly behind and supportive of CVCHS and its expansion plans. Mr. Linzey, the Board and the teachers and staff of CVCHS have, on the whole, made an amazing change to the high school for the better and that benefits all of us in the CVLL community. Our issue is limited as noted above and we are hopeful that it can be dealt with once and for all this week and we can then all move forward again in partnership.