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Local Sports

January 28, 2010

Levine: 'You can't trust anyone anymore'

By Rob Centorani

Staff Writer

Sellers' remorse?

You can't blame Sam Nader and Sid Levine for having a lot of that now.

When they sold the Oneonta Tigers to a group of investors led by New York City attorney E. Miles Prentice III in December of 2008, the contract stipulated that the team would remain in Oneonta through at least the 2010 season.

Never mind.

Nader and Levine said they received calls from Prentice on Wednesday, notifying them that the minor-league franchise they started in 1966 and ran through 2008 was leaving to play at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn., this summer.

"I have great memories and they can't take those away from me," said Nader, who along with Levine and eight other investors pooled $10,000 together to form the Oneonta Athletic Corp. in 1966 to bring minor league baseball to Damaschke Field.

Asked if he knew then what he knows now about Prentice and his ownership group, if he'd have had second thoughts about selling the team, Nader said, "Absolutely."

Nader and Levine seemed to indicate Wednesday that this move might not be a done deal.

Nader said there's a "Commitment to the Community" clause in the contract. Nader added that Prentice said he was aware of it Wednesday.

"It's in the hands of the attorneys," Nader said. "The clause is there. I don't know how strong it is."

Levine said he thought there might be a penalty for breaking the clause.

But, Levine added, "They bought the team and we can't tell them what to do with it. We thought we had an agreement that they would stay, but you can't trust anyone anymore."

Nader, along with Oneonta High graduate and former Oneonta Tigers pitcher Jon Connolly, said the franchise's inability to draw many fans to Damaschke Field played a huge role in Wednesday's developments.

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