VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Out in Ocean Lakes Park, the cry isn’t “play ball,” but “pay up.”
The Virginia Beach Little League claims it is owed $38,000 from an online sports service that registers little league children online, but apparently failed to hand over the money.
When 10 On Your Side went out to Ocean Lakes Park, we found a little league president who wants his money, an email admitting something is owed and a little league family who just wants to play the game.
The Virginia Beach Little League is the largest in the city and is a snapshot of America. When you go to the seven fields — even when games aren’t going on — you can usually find a mom or dad hitting balls to their children.
Then trouble visited the fields. “Probably in March,” says Little League President Doug Will.
March was when the game went foul, and that is when league President Doug Will realized $40,000 was missing.
“When we started doing a little research online, we realized this wasn’t just us, it was a lot of people had the same thing happening,” says Will.
Online news articles note similar happenings in St. Petersburg, Florida, Smithfield, Utah — and now here. Will has used Texas-based Jevin for six years to manage the league’s database for over 700 children.
“This is vitally important for us. We have all the kids in our league. We have their information, birth dates, addresses, their parents.”
However, for the first time this spring, Will also used Jevin for online registration, which 350 parents took advantage of. Will says he knew in March Jevin had failed to turnover $40,000 in registration fees from parents to the league.
Will kept this development secret until he sent out an email at the end of July.
“I am asked that question a lot. Why wait? Well, we didn’t want our spring season impacted. There was a fear that they would shut us down if we complained to authorities or to them,” Will told WAVY’s Andy Fox as he sat in one of the dugouts.
Will feared complaining would end with Jevin shutting down the league’s website — making a bad situation, worse.
Will says, “We got in touch with Dan, and asked, ‘Hey Dan, why haven’t we gotten any money? Where’s the money at?”
On April 5, Will emailed Jevin owner Dan Ptak. In that email, Will wrote to Ptak, “I think you owe us a response… Let us know when you will be able to pay.”
What usually followed, Will says were excuses.
“He would say his email is down. The bank system is down, or he is having a family emergency.”
Later that afternoon on April 5, Ptak admitted he owed Will money, responding by email: “Our plan is to continue with regular payments… until the balance is $0.”
10 On Your Side asked Will, “Did you ask him, ‘Dan, why are you doing this?'” Will answered: “No probably not, never did.”
Andy Fox then asked, “Did you call police?” Will responded: “Nope, did not.”
Will says Ptak did pay $2,000, but still owes $38,000. 10 On Your Side wanted to know, where’s the rest of the money? So we emailed Ptak. His only response: “Due to pending litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.”
So what’s the trickle down of not having $38,000? That is half the price of putting lights on a softball field that are needed, and they can’t fix a broken down batting cage, or fix dugout roofs. The league is definitely functioning as they prepare for fall ball. They are operating. You get the feeling the league is very well grounded, they can respond from this setback — but it is still $38,000.
All of this brings us to the Adamek family, who plays in the league. Dad David was hitting balls to daughter Abigail and son Chase, who said, “Us kids have so much fun playing baseball and softball. It’s just bad we lost that much money.”
As for Doug Will, “We are fortunate we are still here. We are still playing. The sun is still up. We are still moving forward, playing ball.”
The league has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the $38,000 loss. Click here to donate.