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Original Issue

Ask The Coach Guidance for those lost in sports

Dear Coach: I'm a Little League administrator, and this season
one of our teams used an overage player. The coach admits he
knew about the infraction. What disciplinary action should I take?

Dear Lawman: During the regular season Little League rules leave
such matters to the discretion of local league administrators.
(During the Little League tournament the illegal player would be
barred from further competition and his team made to forfeit the
most recent game in which he played.) Says Jake Hardison,
Virginia's Little League state coordinator, "I'd remove the
player from the team and ban the coach from managing." As for
forfeiting games, beware of penalizing players for a violation
they had nothing to do with. "By removing the coach and the
boy," says Hardison, "you're taking action without hurting the
other kids."

Dear Coach: My brother, a recent college graduate, bets on every
sporting event he sees. He doesn't bet large sums and has no
money troubles, but I'm still concerned. Does he have a problem?

Dear Action: Not yet, but stay alert. "If your brother can't
watch a game without betting, that's a warning," says Keith
Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem
Gambling. "The test is whether games provide any enjoyment if he
doesn't have a bet down. If he's watching camel racing out of
Saudi Arabia at 4 a.m., that would indicate sports may be just
an excuse to bet." Early on, the amount of the bets is less
significant than their frequency. "Most sports gamblers start
small," says Whyte. "After a while small bets aren't enough.
That's when real problems set in."