Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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July 19, 2013

CR league folds after funds vanish

Board says registration money is gone; president of youth organization has resigned

Athens — Parents who expected to see their boys and girls playing and cheering in a new league in Cross Roads were informed earlier this week that the funds collected to cover the expenses were no longer available.

The Cross Roads Jr. Bobcats Football League began taking registrations on June 1 for youth 5 to 12 years old. The cost was advertised as $120 for players, which included jerseys and pants. Cheerleaders could be signed up for $140 each and would get cheer outfits, pom poms and other equipment.

One parent, Bryan Marcom, said he had paid the dues for his child to participate and believes 35 to 40 kids had signed up.

“It’s a sad situation for the children,” Marcom said. “I was looking forward to enjoying a youth sports organization in Cross Roads. To me, it’s a violation of trust.”

Last week, league secretary Monica Cook sent parents notice of an emergency Tuesday night meeting to explain the league’s status. Cook said parents were informed at that meeting that there would be no football league in 2013 and that league president Douglas Roberts had resigned.

In short, the parents were left without a league, without their registration fees and without a full explanation of just what happened to the funds. A message left for Roberts was not returned by press time Friday.

Cook said the five remaining board members are limited in what they can say about the situation, but added they are anxious to get things cleared up. The board members contacted the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office concerning the missing funds, but Sheriff Ray Nutt said he’s not sure there’s a criminal case to be made against anyone concerning the loosely-constructed organization.

“With no paperwork and no bylaws, it’s hard to prove any criminal act,” Nutt said.

Nutt is forwarding the information to Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Tommy Barnett for a possible civil case. Cook said the board members expect to speak to the judge on Tuesday concerning the matter.

The Cross Roads league was to be affiliated with a larger organization based in Fairfield. Parents were informed at the meeting that it was too late to collect additional money and include Cross Roads for the upcoming season.

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