Brandon softball league folds, family wants money back

BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) — Lauren and Andrew Leto played ball themselves, so their 9-year-old daughter, Alba, knew she wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps.

“The friendships, and the people that were pouring into our kid, not just us, but other parents really made it a special team,” said Lauren.”

They began coaching the 8 and under girls on Brandon Velocity Softball in the fall of 2021. The next year, the Letos organized a softball clinic with the approval of the league’s president to fundraise and get more girls registered.

“We went ahead and paid for the expenses upfront so the clinic could be run,” said Andrew. “We had a good participation of girls who wanted to be part of it.”

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More than a year and a half later, the Letos said they’re still waiting to be reimbursed $525, despite being told by Bill Noftsinger that he’s working on it.

“This is unfortunate, but the fact that you’re reporting on this gave us the courage to come forward,” said Andrew.

Last month, 8 On Your Side got results for Melanie Rivera Rodriguez who paid $250 to Noftsigner for her daughters to play. One day after our story aired, he sent her the money.

Since then, we’ve learned Hillsborough County Parks and Rec suspended its field use agreement last February because of “multiple complaints” about this league. One of those complaints came from the Letos.

“Monthly, I feel like I asked Bill, ‘Hey where is our money that we paid for out of league funds?’ But at that point, we didn’t know that there wasn’t going to be a January league that was going to come to fruition,” said Lauren.

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In an email, the Parks and Rec athletics manager asked Noftsinger where the fundraising dollars were. “Most of the funds have been dispersed [sic] to the parents at this point. some parents used it as a credit to their registration,” he replied.

However, Lauren said that never happened and the league ultimately folded.

“We tried we really tried,” said Andrew. “We wanted to help out as much as we could, but it was all through Bill.

The Letos were forced to leave Brandon Velocity. Alba now plays with Bloomingdale Softball and loves it.

“Just do what’s right,” said Lauren. “My husband and I poured a lot into this field, into the program, into the girls and moral compass do the right thing.”

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