Founders of failed youth baseball league plead not guilty

The co-founders of a Pierce County youth baseball league that collapsed in 2013 pleaded not guilty Wednesday to multiple counts of theft and unlawful issuance of bad checks.

Ryan Rhoads, 41, and Eric Jacobs, 42, were released on their own recognizance. A trial is tentatively set for Sept. 3, in Pierce County Superior Court.

Rhoads and Jacobs were the president and vice president of Pioneer Pony Baseball, a youth league formed in 2011. The organization collapsed in 2013, amid accusations of financial mismanagement.

A Tacoma police investigation and statements in charging papers alleged Rhoads and Jacobs wrote a series of bad checks on the league’s account.

The News Tribune published an account of the Pioneer League’s demise in April.