West Softball Coach Puts Blame on Rulebook, Denies Wrongdoing In Tanking Controversy

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SLATER, Iowa--It seems as if the dust surrounding the softball world series controversy refuses to settle.   The West coach in the Softball Little League World Series, Fred Miller fired back against allegations that his team tanked a quarterfinals game which would have ended Central Iowa's season.  In a statement to KOMO-TV in Seattle, Miller points the blame at the little league run ratio rule which he says should have allowed his team to advance by losing without scoring a run, "The system is flawed and I did what was in the best interest of my team." Charlie Husak, the coach of the Central Iowa All-Stars sees it much differently.  "We thought that the situation was wrong, we thought throwing a game like that and laying down did not encompass the spirit of the rule," said Husak.

In the letter, Miller also blames Husak for laughing when little league officials agreed to force the West to play an extra playoff game against Central Iowa, something Husak says just isn't true.  "He told us what the situation was and I didn't say a word and the coach from the West was upset and didn't think it should be the way it was.  I was just thankful," said Husak.

Central went on to beat West 3-2 and coach Husak says that's when grandparents of the west began to hint at coach Miller's plan to throw a game the day before.  Husak said,"They came up and shook my hand and said, 'coach you have alot of integrity, alot of character and so does your team and so do your fans and I'm sorry we did this."

Those opposed to coach Miller's philosophy say there was a much easier road with no controversy.  "All he had to do was win, that's the bottom line.  All he had to do was win and it's disappointing because in his statement he never says that," said Chris Chadd, President of the Central Iowa Little League.

While both sides have agreed that some of the tiebreaker issues should be addressed, the real problem goes much deeper than any rule book.  Chadd said, " It's not even about the rules anymore, it's about the lesson you are teaching your kids and the little league pledge strive to win."

The Central Iowa All-Stars defeated the team from the Southwest region 9-2 to take third place in Softball Little League World Series.  A celebration for the team is being planned for Saturday in Slater at 5 p.m.

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