DENVER -- A youth football league new to Colorado may have dropped the ball in its first season. Now parents and kids are left frustrated with what they're calling a disorganized and mismanaged league.
“A bunch of broken-hearted kids and aggravated parents and disappointed coaches and staff,” explained Tom miles. He is one of the assistant coaches for the Aurora Avalanche Football Organization (AAFO).
Miles said it is the only way he can describe the situation he and members of the AAFO find themselves in after signing up for the season with the Snoop Youth Football League (SYFL).
The league is part of the nonprofit founded by hip hop artist Snoop Dogg back in 2005 as a way to give inner city kids a positive outlet. This was the league’s first season in Colorado. It seems to have started with some unnecessary roughness.
“Completely unfair, unregulated, uncoordinated, and irresponsible,” commented Miles on how the league managed the season. According to Miles, there were red flags early on and the problems continued to pile on. He claims there were problems with scheduling, referees who were no shows, and playing on unprepared fields.
“I had cones I pulled out of my truck to outline the end zones. I had parents and friends of players moving cones for the first down marker. They were completely unprepared,” recalls Miles.
Miles says there were empty promises too. The uniforms were supposed to be high quality jerseys with hand stitching. But according to Miles, when they did get their uniforms they were late, the sizes wrong, and the fit wasn`t fitting for football. The 14-year-olds were left empty handed.
“They played without jerseys all season,” he added.
Noah Woollen is the president of the SYFL in Colorado and he admits it got off to a rocky start.
“I think it`s first year growing pains,” explained Woolleen.
“Any kind of team that you know starts up. There are going to be those struggles,” Woollen added. He says it didn`t help that parents with Aurora Avalanche Teams never paid the registration fees. According to documents Woollen provided to FOX31 Denver, the organization has a balance of more than $5,000.
“It never got to my hands. I have all of the bank statements showing this,” he added.
However, parents like Miles doesn`t buy that.
“You can’t make promises of services that you are going to provide without having the funds to acquire those services,” Miles commented.
The remainder of the season was suspended and Miles says it's the kids who suffer most.
“How do you explain to a six year old, ’Yea I know you`re on a football team and I know you`ve been practicing three days a week, but now you don’t have any games to go to?’” questioned Miles.
Woollen is holding a meeting next Monday at Gateway High School where he hopes to talk about things like possible reimbursement for the uniforms.
He says he is taking some accountability for the failed season and hopes to get things squared away with all of the affected families.