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2011 WRALL Manager sidelined by Little League International
by DREW BOLLEA Staff Writer
Apr 18, 2012 | 6226 views | 52 52 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The dugouts of the Warner Robins Little League will be missing a familiar face this season.

Manager of the 2011 World Series little league team from Warner Robins decided not to coach this year after his son broke his arm, but emails obtained by The Patriot in mid February provide a little more detail.

According to the President and CEO of Little League International, Steve Keener; "It was confirmed that Philip Johnson did violate a policy which prohibits possession or consumption of alcohol on the Little League International Complex." It was discovered that Johnson brought alcohol into the complex dorms. "For this offense, Johnson was barred from any association or involvement with the 2012 Little League International Tournament," wrote Kenner.

The Patriot spoke with Johnson who had this to say, "It was a bad choice. When approached by Williamsport, I admitted to making a mistake, and I took my punishment."

Back here in Georgia, The WRALL board of directors weren't made aware of the situation until after both Johnson's resignation from managing this season, and Little League International's suspension was handed down. According to WRALL President Mickey Lay, once they were made aware, the board of directors voted to not let Johnson coach or manage in the little or junior leagues. This punishment was decided after Johnson informed the board he would not be managing due to his son's injury.

Lay went on to say that parents were not made aware of the situation in Williamsport "since it was not at our (Warner Robins) location or that any laws were broken."

He continued saying, "Johnson has been a strong advocate for the league for many years. A good coach, and a good individual.

Johnson said he may return to coaching when his four-year-old gets to the little league ranks, but until then he's not sure, saying, "we'll see."
Comments
(52)
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PJL Parent
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January 22, 2014
You can bash the Nauss family all you like, but we are more than happy to have them at PJL. Ryan has been an AWESOME coach and is taking a group of boys to the Dixie League World Series at the end of July. Couldn't ask for a more supportive and encouraging coach for these kids.

Yep, Grandpa comes and helps out too. Oh, by the way, I saw Ryan with a shovel moving dirt around on the field the other day. Guess that blows your theory that they are only there to coach!
Chartills
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January 22, 2014
This story has obviously triggered lots of emotion. This probably has a much deeper set of problems and unethical behavior, from local to Williamsport. I feel if it was really looked into and parents asked, you might find bigger violations, that were swept under the rug. These players probably were under manager supervision most of the time, and these concerns and violations are quite serious.

It does sound stinky, to say the least. I say , talk to the parents, and then see what the board does next!
Chartills
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January 22, 2014
Did the coaches use league funds to pay for a extra "drinking room" in the local hotel during the Region tournament? This should be verifiable by looking at any receipts and by talking to the parents as I said before.

Surely the league members would want to know if their league is spending money this way. Also, the receipts would show whether or not league funds allegedly covered bar tabs or not.
WRALL Parent
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January 22, 2014
This offense was proven so, I just dont get it. ALL of you ppl are handling this situation incorrectly.

I really wish I had a boat to get this guy off this lonely island :( Forgive, forget. Pray, give it to God, and move on with your lives. This is not important people!

WRALL does not need anymore egos. Youre all going to die, face the creator and when you reflect on this, will it even matter? and did YOU ALL make this organization better or worse? God, values, and morals.. coach that!
people power
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January 22, 2014
never underestimate the power of stupid people in a large group.

attack
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January 22, 2014
If all else fails, attack someone else.

just wondering
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January 22, 2014
only the person who received the beer is guilty? the two then board members who passed the beer off to Johnson are not? the 2 board members were standing on LL property in order to give the beer to Johnson so why were they not found guily for having alcohol on there property the same as Johnson?

I guess the zero tolerence doesn't apply to them
another wrall parent
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January 22, 2014
Since everyone is throwing people under the bus...why don't we talk about the parents who supplied the coach. They go run their mouth to Tom Nauss who wrote the letter to everyone and even though he is banned from WRALL he continues to try to incite the board by participating in a practice with kids when he isn't supposed to...because he asked a kid to fake an injury. Not for sure which one did it, Tom or his son, but one of them SPIT in a kids face. None of that was reported. Tom wants to be DA and got pissed. His kids want to be on board and no one votes for them. They try to bring shame upon a volunteer organization in which the only thing they want to do to volunteer is coach. They should be out there cleaning up and working at the complex if they want to be a part of it, but they are only concerned with the spotlight of the SE Region, which is not part of WRALL. The Nauss's need to get over it. The board from last year and this year and all the years I've been in WR have done a great job.
kidadvocate
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January 22, 2014
I dont think you want to go there! If you look deeper, it may get you embarrased!
oldie but goodie
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January 22, 2014
At the end of the day, no matter what you do somebody is going to complain about something. At some point, you have to look in the mirror and realize that all of you are taking this a little too serious.

Maybe you need a "supplier". Maybe Phillip will call his "supplier" to bring him some more, at this time I haven't heard one kid from that team, or any other team, regret any past experiences with Phillip. Obviously, the "suppliers" kid had a great time, and enjoyed his time with Phillip and his companionship. Lastly, consenting adults, can have an adult beverage together.... its ok. Its kinda like sneaking in presents at Christmas, the kids dont know about it, but it still happens!
anonymous
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January 22, 2014
if you really want to know the history of WRLL go to their web site
anonymous
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January 22, 2014
(Editor's Note: Contents unverifiable
another wrall parent
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January 22, 2014
Contents unverifiable...but you let them name stuff below that was unverifiable.
Its time to move on!
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January 22, 2014
By reading the story on this site plus reading most of the comments below, it does make you wonder. It sounds like there is more to this story.

It is the responsibility of the current board to look deeper into this story. I don’t care why they haven’t. I’m sure some of the board members are friends with Mr. Johnson and others, but that has to be put aside. You, the board, represent a league, not a friend or coach. The league itself doesn’t have to know all that went on in Williamsport Pa. But the board does.

Get parents from that World Series team and ask the questions. The board can do what’s right in this case or they can brush this under the table. Just remember, board of directors, you represent the people and not yourselves.

WRWR, this is news worthy but you shouldn't allow anyone to post any comments towards this article. The "he said, she said" stuff is irrelevant. People bashing and name dropping shouldn’t be allowed. These are all volunteers. From coaches to board members, nobody gets paid and nobody is perfect.

WRWR, it’s time to let this story move on.

Same Tired Story
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January 22, 2014
So how do you know what someone knew or didn't know? Do you have proof? I'm sure the reporters have everything you emailed to them and nothing could be verified other than what Mr Johnson already admitted to.

That's the problem with you people (other than terrible grammar and spelling). You assume.

I remember in 2008 a certain manager being removed from the league for something far worse and it was never reported. It was a league issue and remained as such. To have a child fake an injury is about as low as it gets and the manager got what he deserved. Other than it being one of the worst managerial decisions I have ever seen (it ended up costing the team the game in the end), the clown manager corrupted a child.

I'm through with this site and all that comes with it. If the WRALL board is smart, they will ban all affiliated with this smear campaign including WRWR from their facility forever.

(Editor's Note: Much, I am sure, to your disappointment, they cannot do that.)
another wrall parent
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January 22, 2014
Love your post...and unfortunately yes, they can't ban them from the facility, but they don't have to give them any kind of info.
We now know the bias
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January 22, 2014
WRWR rotating the story back to front page proves their bias in this whole mess. No wonder you can't get sponsors.
Iris Gaines
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January 22, 2014
In response to Editor's note: Much, I am sure, to your disappointment, they CAN do that if they so decide. WRALL is a private entity and is on private property.
anonymous
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January 22, 2014
Wrall is a political messy cover up. I have heard over the past several years just how bad it had gotten.

Congrats to the boys last year, they did it on their own. More drama their than most folks can handle!
another wrall parent
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January 22, 2014
yes, boys did it own their own, unlike the year that one was asked to fake an injury....
Another WRL parent
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January 22, 2014
There is no truth to the statement that the WRALL Board was not aware of the situation considering the previous President who is now on the Board at Southeast and current Board members were partipants.

Shame on them for letting Philip Johnson take the entire blame for this. The Nauss' were for ALL of the kids and not just their own. There are several parents on the fields to date without volunteer forms, but they have not been banned or even talked to.
another wrall parent
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January 22, 2014
Yeah, that's why Tom Nauss asked a kid to fake an injury and his son spit in one of the kids faces when they were in St. Pete years ago. That is why Tom is banned as he should be.
another wrall parent
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January 22, 2014
The president from last year is not on the Board at the Southeast....funny, the Nauss's are for all the kids....that is why they asked a kid to FAKE any injury...to win. That is the lowest thing I've ever heard a coach ask a kid to do. The Nauss's are for themselves.
Old Timer
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January 22, 2014
Those who live in glass houses.... With almost 40 years in and around the WRALL organization, all I will say is this: At least Mr. Johnson owned his actions. My question to the recently banned grandfather and son would be "have you asked any kids to fake injuries today?"

It's easy to see where this story came from and shame on WRWR for giving these people a voice. It all comes down to a bitter old man who hasn't ran the league in almost a decade (which has been the leagues most successful in these old eyes), and he can't stand it. The league is financially sound (something he always had problems with), winning (just look at the succes prior to and post grandpa), and well respected (still is in my eyes, the league takes out the trash when they need to).

WRALL keep on keeping on and the true supporters will always be there when you need them.
shame on u old guy
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January 22, 2014
WOW, it's everybody else’s fault now. How old are you? I guess you’re trying to take all eyes off the real story. You are a great friend to Mr. Johnson.

How can you blame WRWR for doing its job, reporting a story? Since you are blaming others, why don't you blame CEO of Little League International, Steve Keener for banning Mr. Johnson? Then you can blame the WRALL Board of Directors for not giving Mr. Johnson a team this year. A coach admitting to bringing alcohol in a non-alcohol place while watching over 14 kids that are not his. That’s the real story.

WRWR didn’t say any of this in the story, blame belongs to CEO of Little League International, Steve Keener and WRALL president Mickey Lay for taking action on this person.

Shame on those guys. Who they think they are?
another wrall parent
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January 22, 2014
Thank you for your comment...I grew up where their was no Little League or hardly any organized sport. I can't believe how much of their time the board gives up for other kids. It is the ones who don't get their own way who complain.

This is a great organization.
just another parent
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January 22, 2014
if drinking alcohol was not the reason to disapline Manager Johnson it should have been. if a person was there and saw the beer being passed on little league property What bad choice and mistake is he admitting to, accepting his "punishment"?

Someone owes the parents the truth they do have a zero policy on alcohol and tabacco and our local board is out of control this league has been hijacked by a bunch of thugs
another wrall parent
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January 22, 2014
THUGS...are you serious? Maybe you should go out and volunteer then...
WRALLChallengerDad
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January 22, 2014
Well, those thugs, as you refer to the WRALL board members, have provided a great opportunity to my family so that my special needs child can play baseball in the Challenger division.

THANK YOU WRALL BOARD MEMBERS for all you do so that ALL CHILDREN CAN PLAY!

You people are constantly whining and complaining about anything negative you hear about and forgetting the POSITIVE! You obviously need a new perspective on life, come out and watch my child and the other Challenger teams play this weekend, and maybe you will finally get it!
WRALL supporter
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January 22, 2014
I'm not a board member, nor would I ever want to be. But I have been around little league for over 13 years, and I know that being a board member is a thankless job. They pick up your trash, clean toliets, deal with parents who always have a better idea but don't want to come volunteer. They sacrifice time away from their families and their kids, to try to make WRALL a quality facility that produces great ballplayers...and that is exactly what it is.

Mr. Johnson is a great coach, who made an error in judgement, has owned up to it, and has taken his punishment. It appears that some people (Mr. Nauss and his mob) are bitter and are trying to stir up crap.

WRALL Board of Directors....thank you for all your hard work, for dealing with the issues that are thrown on you, and providing a ballpark that I and my children are proud to be a part of.
anonymous
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January 22, 2014
Let me put this crap out there. Since you want to sling people names out there that didn't have any involvement with this team nor up in Williamsport Pa... I have one name for you Mr. Dunn. Who is he, the 2011 Warner Robins President. You might ask why I'm bringing his name up?

Mr. Dunn is now the DA for the Little League 5th District. So put the blame on where it belongs. On those who did wrong in Williamsport Pa... You say thank you board for dealing with things being thrown at you. You should be saying, "Board, why don’t you call all the World Series parents in and ask them what they know and what they saw? Then Mr. Lay can go to the paper with the facts and clear all this up. That would stop all this mess. That won’t happen because the 2011 President, Vice President and all coaches will have to face the music. How do you think this crap got back to Warner Robins GA? Parents see all and know all.

Friends covering up friends mess.

Since the 2012 Board of Directors won't ask all World Series parents what went on, maybe Drew Bollea will.

another wrall parent
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January 22, 2014
anonymous....you must be a Nauss...or one of their followers.
parent @ wrall
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January 22, 2014
There is a whole lot more to this story then what was told and what about witness statement? And Philip Johnson is not the only one involve there was also board members and the other coaches right that what I heard who are all supposed to be looking out for the kid's safety.

I am glad that WRWR TV38 is covering this and has the courage to put it out there when no else would because of their name and maybe they can help get to the bottom of this and get the rest of them that were involved suspended to so that the kids safety come first.
anonymous
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January 22, 2014
This is not old news and when kids are involved it should be just as important as region playoff spots. By the way, All the High School teams made the playoff in 4-A because the crossover games, Veterans is no less than 2nd place and Perry is the only one maybe out. Now the playoffs is old news.

I'm sure this article is just scratching the surface. Will the whole truth come out?

To be continued.........
Another WRALL parent
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January 22, 2014
It is old news when the people who are trying to stir up trouble got banned from the league years ago because of wrong doings. One of them spit in a players face....pretty bad. I wouldn't want them around my kids. That is what the current board took care of when the grandfather (who was banned) tried to take part in activites this year and was asked to leave. He knew better and tried to incite violence.
Another WRAL Parent
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January 22, 2014
I applaud Mr. Johnson for owning up to this, but he doesn’t deserve all the blame. One man didn’t act alone. Shame on all those who smuggled the alcohol inside the grove and those who took part in drinking the alcohol!

WRALL Board of Directors should have taken actions against those who done wrong and not cover up the truth.

Lots more to this story!
georgiaeagle
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January 22, 2014
Anonymous,

Thanks for the feedback. If you happen to tune into our station, we have nightly coverage on all the local teams making playoff pushes. From interviews from the coaches and the players, to region standings and schedules, we pride ourselves in the amount of local coverage we provide and work very hard to get it to you.

Thanks,

McKenna Knight, Sports Anchor