I have spent the last 30 years promoting the Belleville Khoury League and George Khoury Association of Baseball Leagues Inc. George Khoury is a personal friend.
Belleville Khoury is more than 60 years old and perhaps the longest continuous youth organization in the city. The Khoury League is older than Little League.
It was honor to be part of the awards ceremony when we recently hosted the Atom-II (9-year-olds) National Championship. The Class-A game saw a team from Mayville win over Collinsville 1-0 in perhaps one of the best Khoury games I have ever seen.
These kids are so impressionable at this age. They look up to Major League Baseball stars as their heroes. That is why I see another story on a drug enhancement suspension disturbing.
The Khoury League kids played to win but no one was out to cheat.
Do you want to put an end to this in the MLB and other professional sports? Here is a solution. First time caught, the player is suspended, all personal records to date erased and no consideration for the Hall of Fame. I do believe in rehabilitation; however, second time caught and you are expelled for life.
This is no harsher than a 9-year-old facing reality that you can play honest, hard and fair and sometimes you win and sometimes you do not.
The MLB players involved in this scandal had choices. The best way to teach youngsters is that bad decisions are met with severe consequences.