Parents claim children's youth football team deceived them

After several players injured, parents claim youth football team deceived them

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. — Organizers of a West Mifflin youth football team allegedly falsified documents in order to field a player years older -- and much bigger -- than the league allowed, parents and league officials say.

That player, who turns 14 in September, took the field with 10-year-olds and sent five Charleroi players to the hospital with injuries after a recent Washington/Greene Youth Football League game, parents told Channel 11.

Katherine Kasper said she can't forget the image of her son being hit so hard on the field that his arm snapped behind his back.

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“He’s 85 pounds," she said. "He was getting hit by a 285-pound teenager who should not have been on that field."


League director Bill Spencer says the boy's improper inclusion on the West Mifflin team was deliberate.

“It just seems like they basically, knowingly played this child because they wanted to win,” he said.

West Mifflin Youth Football and Cheer has since been kicked out of the league. Team officials did not return calls from Channel 11.

Spencer started investigating after that game and discovered the boy’s age, grade and address were falsified on registration papers.

The boy’s mother told Channel 11 officials with the team begged her to let her son play for free even though a coach had told her he was too old.

“I didn’t want my son to play in youth football because he’s just too big to be in youth football," Jackie Dawson said. She also said she was never told about age restriction or residency requirements and is sorry her child hurt others.

Now all West Mifflin youth teams are expelled from the league and Kasper’s son is likely out for the season.

“Heartbreaking, because a lot of these kids, all they want to do is play football with their friends," she said.

On Wednesday, Channel 11 reported that parents of West Mifflin players are claiming they are not being refunded their registration fees despite the team's season being canceled after one game.

“I finally hit my breaking point and asked who will reimburse the $175 that was paid," one mother told Channel 11. "The response was, 'There isn’t any money.'”

A magistrate told upset parents they will have to file a civil suit to recoup the fees.