DITTO: Except ours was 16u "Green Team" Plus the web site is misleading. Look at the facility link. It is a park about 30 miles away from the "Academy". Plus they never provided the complete uniform that we paid in full for with many excuses as to why we have never received it. But we never got a single penny back from these people. I submitted a report with the Dallas BBB and almost a year later they are still looking into it!! Oh, and Audra is consulting an attorney to sue me!!
BEWARE ! They call it "Select" Baseball and promise to teach and enhance each individual's talent and improve all players' ability to play baseball. Not this organization.
They are in the business of making money and that's all they see. Darrell Richardson and his wife run an indoor facility which houses 3-4 "cages" for hitting and pitching instruction. They are not interested in putting a competitive team on the field. Their goal is to recruit players, no matter their talent, charge their parents an enormous amount of money, and then let them loose on a baseball field with little or no practice or training.
Yes, there were several good players recruited to play, but that's because of all the hype Mr. Richardson and his wife did to promote the team and the competitive nature of the league the team was to play in for the Spring/Summer 2003 season. The league draws some of the best teams in the Dallas metroplex. The tournaments the team was to compete in were to be of a highly competitive level with highly skilled players.
Before entering the world of "select" baseball, we searched and tried out for several teams. In each instance, we questioned and quizzed the coaches to ascertain the level of play for the respective team and the methods for coaching and teaching. We were ready to put "daddy ball" behind us and move on to a level of baseball which would help our son prepare for high school baseball.
He had 2 years to work hard and learn. After many conversations with both Mr. Richardson and his wife, we were assured both verbally and in writing that the 13U team would be competitive and be made up of better than average players who would compete locally and around the state of Texas.
We specifically asked if Mr. Richardson would be coaching and teaching the boys on a regular basis. Again, we were assured that he would be very involved with the team, its practices and its games. We were told that he would be the head of the team and that he would be assisted by others who were equally as talented. One man would be paid to coach the team and be considered the head coach. We asked whether individual lessons with Mr. Richardson were required to play on the team.
We were told that they were not. It didn't matter because we would have paid for lessons if they were required because our son wanted to be successful. We were ready for the commitment of time and money. Select teams typically practice or play games at least 5 days a week. Not this organization.
Try outs for the 13U team began last fall. The team was allegedly complete in January 2003 even though at no time from January until mid February did we have more than 6-7 kids at called practices. The Richardsons kept telling parents that they had other kids coming and not to worry about the team's structure. They said they had everything under control. We continued to believe them. At that same time, the Richardsons began collecting money each month from parents. No problem. We had signed on to play on their team and to be coached and taught by Mr. Richardson and his "staff" of coaches, which ultimately turned out to be the ONE man who signed on to be the paid coach. (Our complaints are NOT directed to the paid coach because he was terrific. There is only so much one person can do.)
The collection of boys who had tried out and made the team looked just ok. In some cases, it was hard to see why some of the players got picked because while they were nice kids, they did not have an athletic bone in their body. They had nice parents, like us, willing to pay money for the chance to be coached by Darrell Richardson.
The team was not going to be the best team on a field, but that was alright because Mr. Richardson and his wife kept assuring parents there was more talent coming and this was the team's first year together. Some new talent did come, but quickly left when they saw that this was NOT a true "select" team. There were a few "select" players, but the rest looked like they had been recruited from the YMCA recreational league.
To add insult to injury, Mr. Richardson barely had time to participate in team practices due to his lesson schedule. Occasionally, he would give a few tips to the boys during practice, but that was only between scheduled lessons with others not even affiliated with the team. His presence for the team was virtually nonexistent, except he felt compelled to make the line up each game even though he'd not seen kids play the positions he slotted them for often enough to know they could play those positions. The head coach was not allowed to decide where kids would play. (Obviously, because of promises made by the Richardsons to certain parents.)
From mid February until May, the team probably played (I would never say competed) in 12 league games and 4-5 tournaments (3 game minimum which is all they ever played due to their ability not to win). In that time, Mr. Richardson participated in 1 tournament and a few league games.
In each instance when it was brought to the attention of his wife (because you couldn't talk to Darrell without going through her), she would make an excuse or send an email to everyone saying how sorry they were that he could not be there, but he'd be at the next one ! We lost count how many of those emails circulated. Darrell Richardson could not make himself available to the team because that meant he could not give lessons at his facility and thus make even more money. We have no problem with someone making money, but for goodness sake, we and other parents had already shelled out tons of money for him to teach our kids. When was that going to happen? Now these boys didn't matter. They already had our money.
The most disappointing part of this whole thing is not the amount of money paid for our son to play. It's not even the fact that the team did not win. It's the fact that these people lied to the parents and to the boys about everything. They told so many lies, they could not keep track of the lies they told. When confronted with emails they had written, they still continued to deny saying or promising anything. We finally requested that our son be released from the team. They said they didn't want to release him and that they would work things out. We continued to hope.
Their idea of working things out is to go from parent to parent telling them we are the trouble makers and that we are the reason the team is falling apart. Of course they will deny doing that, but we know they did. Our son has finally been released from their team, but not before Mr. Richardson point blank asked us if we truly believed he would be coaching the team. After our shock, we of course said "yes" because that's what you told us and everyone else. He made it seem like we were asking for something which had not been spoke about. When in fact, on not less than 3 specific occassions had emails gone back and forth between us and the Richardsons discussing this very topic.
As adults, we all know there's a risk of getting ripped off in our lifetime by someone or something. When it impacts our children is when it cannot be tolerated. The Richardsons took advantage of people by taking their money, making promises and then lying and cheating young kids out of what could have been a great experience. This is a pretty sad way to run a business and definitely not how we want our son to be treated. They will only know how this feels when someone does something like this to their son. For their sake, I hope that day never comes.
no longer in Dallas, Texas
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