The Danville Baseball Association, which coordinates the Diablos' PONY Baseball for 12- to 15-year-old boys in Danville and Alamo, filed a lawsuit against Athenian School last week for early termination of a contract regarding field use at the school.
Judyth Collin, communications director for Athenian School, said they had only received a copy of the suit on Monday afternoon, their first day of classes, and were not prepared to make a statement.
In a statement from the DBA, President Tony Gigliotti said the original contract signed in 2002 granted field use for 10 years, with an out clause in 2010. A modification was reportedly signed in 2004, however, that extended the termination and out clause dates by two years.
Gigliotti also said the association was given 30 days notice of cancellation on Aug. 4 and alleges that the school began contacting Diablos' coaches and players "offering them the opportunity to come to the new program that would be replacing the Diablos at Athenian."
"We believe they wrongfully terminated our contract and then began recruiting our players and coaches in order to render our program impotent," Gigliotti added. "… Athenian scared them into believing that would be impossible without signing up for the new program."
Paul Hirsch, spokesman for the DBA, said the program allegedly offered to the coaches and players was another youth baseball program that was started by Athenian. He said the notice from Athenian was "sudden."
"Meetings took place between the DBA and Athenian school and they couldn't come to an agreement and (the lawsuit) is what took place," Hirsch said.
In addition, DBA said they have kept to their contractual obligations, including paying for maintenance and improvements to the fields.
Last winter, wild pigs reportedly destroyed new sod on the fields. The DBA statement said that they invested more than $30,000 to "re-repair widespread sprinkler lines destroyed by the pigs, hauled off the destroyed sod, laid new sod, and installed over 1,000 feet of fencing to keep the pigs out."