A Westmont Youth Baseball Association manager’s punishment was reduced Thursday after he was suspended for allegedly making an inappropriate gesture before practice.
A Westmont Youth Baseball Association manager’s suspension for allegedly making an inappropriate gesture before practice has been reduced.
Brian Kelly, manager of Tim’s Pro Painting baseball team, was originally suspended for nine games by the Westmont Youth Baseball Association board for briefly exposing his buttocks to another coach after an exchange of “playful banter” at an April 5 practice, said Chad Dyson, board secretary. Kelly denied the allegation.
The exchange occurred at the baseball field at Veteran’s Memorial Park at East Richmond Street and Linden Avenue.
“The (Youth Baseball Association) Board felt it was a serious infraction,” Dyson said. “It was inappropriate and unacceptable.”
Kelly appealed the suspension Thursday night, and the board reduced the penalty to seven games after both witnesses — a coach and a parent — told the board they were not offended by the incident, Dyson said.
In an interview with the Progress on Monday, Kelly said he was making playful banter with another coach, “but I never exposed myself. I would just like that to be known,” he said.
Kelly said in the interview that he was wearing a belt at the time and that it would have been impossible for his pants to slip down. He denied making any inappropriate gestures and said he was focusing on his team’s practice.
However, four board members — Dyson, Jet Bieronski, Brian Freitag and Bob Prehn — said Kelly’s first defense when the board questioned him about the incident was that his pants slipped down accidentally.
Board member Mike Powers said he was under the impression that no actual exposure took place during the exchange between coaches. Other board members could not be reached to comment.
In the Progress interview, Kelly said he was never given a clear picture of the allegations against him. He added he would have disputed the matter further had he been given specific details, but he said he wanted to move forward.
“It was done in a joking manner to someone (Kelly) knew, but being a parent volunteer in a Little League, we didn’t think he should conduct himself that way,” said Freitag. “Brian is a good person. He made a bad judgment, and he realizes it now.”
Dyson said Kelly was on probation in the baseball association for unsportsmanlike behavior issues resulting from last year’s all-star game, which may have led to the board’s strict suspension.
Kelly, who is married to Community Unit School District 201 Board member Linda Kelly, said he was never informed that he was on probation. He does plan to coach his team, which is boys 10 to 12 years old, after the suspension is over.
The Westmont Police Department was not involved in the matter because neither witness reported the incident. Park District Director Ron Gunter said he was contacted about the matter, but police are responsible for enforcing local ordinances in parks.
Annie Reed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.