Atlantic Cape Community College’s head baseball coach in New Jersey, Rodney Velardi, stepped down from his position on May 4 following an incident involving two players on his team. The players were found to have illegal communication devices hidden inside their batting helmets, leading to an investigation by the college. As a result of the investigation, the head coach submitted his resignation, taking responsibility for the incident. Rodney served as the head coach of the team for the last 13 years.

During a baseball game against Rowan College Gloucester County on April 22, Atlantic Cape Community College’s scandal was brought to light. The college had discovered that two of their players had been using illegal communication devices hidden inside their batting helmets. The game resulted in an 11-4 loss for Atlantic Cape, but the outcome of the game was overshadowed by the discovery of the illegal devices.

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Laura Batchelor, Chief Marketing Officer at Atlantic Cape Community College, confirmed that following the discovery of the illegal communication devices during the April 22 baseball game, the head coach was suspended pending an investigation by the NJCAA Region 19. “We had asked for him to resign at that time,” Batchelor said. The coach eventually resigned from his position in the wake of the scandal.

According to an interview with The Courier Post, Rowan College Gloucester County’s manager Rob Valli explained how he found out about the illegal communication devices in Atlantic Cape Community College’s players’ helmets. During a doubleheader game, first baseman Felix Diaz reported to Valli that he heard a voice coming out of a player’s helmet in the first game.

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“I didn’t believe it,” Valli recalled. “I just thought, ’nah.’ I didn’t believe it. I didn’t not believe him, but for that sophisticated of cheating, I just didn’t think they would do it. I didn’t think they would do it. For me, I wasn’t going to go right up there in the first inning. We had to confirm that’s what it was. So the second time up, those same guys got on, and he was confirming with me the whole time. Once those guys got on, he’s saying I hear it. I hear it.”

Valli then asked the umpire to check two helmets of Atlantic Cape players in the bottom of the third inning, and the umpire confirmed the devices. The game was stopped, and Valli requested that the center field camera be removed before resuming play. No players or coaches were ejected.