Letter: Unjust Agenda

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Letter to the Editor

In all my years, I’ve never heard of players incurring costs in excess of $600 to play local sports, paying coaches and firing volunteers because longstanding beliefs and involvement don’t fit with a new board’s business priorities. That is not the spirit of community. 

I’ve donated years to Malibu so I can provide children with meaningful baseball experiences. A number of people will confirm that I am a good, ethical and experienced coach. As a volunteer, my only request is that I’m associated with an ethical, law-abiding program. 

It’s clear to me Malibu Pony Baseball (MPB) is at a turning point. The non-published program goals include unilateral control of big decisions and an unauthorized feeder program directly benefitting its paid coaches and board. In effect, this board is putting their own needs and business priorities above those of its players and families without transparency or accountability. It seems to be an unjust and dangerous precedent. 

MPB is a nonprofit charitable organization. Strict rules apply to its activities and governance. Failure to structure properly results in an inability to operate at arms-length, creates exposure to IRS penalties and jeopardizes MPB’s nonprofit status. Prepare for financial turmoil, because MPB will be treated as a taxable corporation if this status is revoked. All income received will be taxable, and sponsors will not be able to deduct contributions. Donations obtained under false pretenses — i.e. in cases where donors were lied to about how money would be used — will become taxable income.

For years, volunteers have been the heart of MPB. The new participation fee is extortion and the policies created against families who simply want their kids to enjoy sports without being involved in an unaffordable program designed to benefit the few are simply wrong. Nonprofits are not intended to advance the agendas of adults who want college scholarships for their kids, nor are they to make a name for a paid coach or his school. Travel teams accomplish those goals and are paid for by parents who mandate that agenda vs. putting it on the backs of an unsuspecting majority.

Please join the conversation and help put the play back into playing affordable youth sports.

Dana Warnes Gruskin