AFTER a pre-season that was marred by a walk-out of one of its biggest teams, the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc., has issued a reminder to coaches, players and officials alike to be mindful of their behavior this season.
Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy reminded the coaches that thing that they often overlook, that they not only represent the school and their team, but a community involving everyone in the school—alumni, teachers, students, staff and owners.
Sometimes, as what happened in Medellin, it's the action off the court that makes the community cringe at that prima donna attitude of some players and officials. Just remember, when Gary Cortes walked out of that court in Medellin, some UV alumni had to defend their school, education program and students attitudes from an online barrage borne out of that walkout.
The UV community bore the shame of his actions.
Commissioner Felix has hinted at increasing the monetary fine for unsportsmanlike conduct, and while that may be a deterrent, some teams may just opt to pick up the tab, so their spoiled—I mean, star—players or coaches can suit up anew.
So, I have a different suggestion for the good commissioner as added penalty for coaches and players who step over the line—community service.
What in the name of good ol' basketball is that? Well, the Cebu City Sports Commission has numerous programs, one geared for the street kids and those in conflict with the law, and basketball is one of them. This program is conducted every Saturday at the Cebu City Sports Institute in San Nicolas.
All the Cesafi has to do is to coordinate with the CCSC to require say players and coaches who earn a suspension or fine for unsportsmanlike conduct to render a two-hour community service with the kids before he gets the green light to play again. If the player has a game before the next CCSC session could be held so he can serve his sentence, that's too bad for him. He should have thought of that before acting like a brat.
This could serve two purposes--the kids can get a glimpse of what they can achieve if they work hard on their craft, and the players will be reminded how lucky they are and should start behaving properly.
I know some officials, especially those involved in the sports in the 70s, deep down inside them want to give the present crop of players and coaches a good dressing down to remind them how lucky they are now, so this reality check may be what a player who’s spiraling out of control needs.
If the coaches and players complain it's a cruel and unusual punishment, well, it's not. Unusual maybe but cruel it is not. Besides, this is a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, and it's very easy to avoid getting one. And players, officials and team managers who pore over the penalties with a fine-tooth comb have something in mind.
They could start with basketball and eventually expand it to other sports too.
At 15 years, I don’t remember the Cesafi having had any CSR-type of program, this one could address that too.