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Softball Coach Owes Teams Money

A Jefferson City softball coach could be facing a legal challenge, after being accused of taking money from girls softball teams in Missouri and Illinois. Teams reported the tournament’s organizer, Elmo Green, did not issue a refund back to them after several tournaments were canceled in 2012. The Missouri State Amateur Softball Association (ASA) said the former coach of Black Ice owes dozens of teams thousands of dollars. The Blue Flames girls softball team out of Edina, in Northeast Missouri is one of those teams. Coach LeaAnn Hamlin said she is angry her girls’ hard-earned money is still not being returned after a tournament Green organized in Jefferson City was canceled last spring. Hamlin said the girls ages 14 and under scraped up $600 dollars through bake sales and family sponsorship. Money they still haven’t seen in 10 months. She said she has been in talks with Green since April– when the tournament was supposed to take place– but has lost touch six months later in October. The Missouri Amateur Softball Association said they’ve heard other teams with similar stories. They estimated that over a year’s time, Green owed up to $20,000 to about 40 teams. The state commissioner Joey Rich said the association sanctions tournaments but leaves the organizers to run it. And Green began running ASA sanctioned tournaments in Fall of 2010– but problems did not arise until a year later. Rich said he has personally called Green several times to get things sorted out on behalf of the teams, but has not been able to reach him starting last fall.So ABC 17 News went out to find Green at his Jefferson City home Saturday. Our reporter was invited inside his home, but he refused to do an on-camera interview. Inside his home– Green admitted to mismanaging the funds and used it on softball-related expense, such as umpire hotel rooms and food costs, and more. He explains that of the two tournaments canceled last year, one was rained out and another, he just couldn’t get enough players in each age group to play against each other. Green said out of the 43 teams he owed money to, all but nine were re-paid as of Saturday. He disputes that the amount would be anywhere near the $20,000 estimated by the association. Green handed a copy of his tournament registration forms to ABC 17 News, the entry fees ranged from $350- 435, with discounts for early-bird registration of up to $100 less. Green said he loved coaching girls softball, and intends to pay everyone back when he is financially able to, but his tournament days are over. The ASA tells ABC 17 News out of its 80 or so year history, this is the first time something like this has happened. “He (Green) will not have anything to do with ASA in any shape or form,” said Rich. The ASA have been in touch with prosecutors in Cole and Phelps County, where the tournaments were supposed to take place, to try and get money back for the teams. Rich said they are also in touch with the Attorney General’s Office in Jefferson City the past week to resolve the issues.

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