There is a story getting some play today about an incident that took place last night during a Berkeley Little League game and knowing the way things work I’m sure the next 24 hours will be a nightmare for league president Bob Everett.  

A Berkeley Little League field complex (Facebook)

A manager in the league, 43-year old Thomas Murphy of Bayville faces two counts of simple assault for allegedly slapping a 17-year old umpire who had thrown him out of a game earlier in the evening.  The two got into a verbal dispute during a game at the league’s Moorage Complex and the umpire ejected Murphy who according to reports then smacked the teenager in the ear.

Police later went to Murphy’s home and issued summonses for simple assault and simple assault at a sporting event with children under the age of 16 present.  A police spokesman said a court date has not been set.

Everett, who as President is well-known for running a league that stresses sportsmanship and fair play, posted a statement on the league’s Facebook page in which he called the incident “inexcusable.”  He added there is a process that needs to be followed but the manager has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.

Everett went on to say that the umpire is an outstanding young man who handled the matter correctly and that “fortunately he was not injured by this stupid attack.”

My guess is that this story could easily get blown out of proportion with some putting blame on Little League in general and specifically the Berkeley Little League.  Everett and I have had many personal conversations about organized youth sports and the need for things to be put in their proper perspective.

I have been involved with the Beachwood Soccer Club for many years and we’ve shared stories about how the emphasis on winning and success often results in even well-meaning coaches and parents losing perspective on why their kids are even playing sports.

He and league officials have been way ahead of many others when it comes to educating and training parents and coaches about proper behavior on and off the field and the league should not suffer for the actions of one individual.