Mike T. Limpag

Fair Play

SOUTHWESTERN University had the upper hand in its battle against Cesafi for the reinstatement of Eliud Poligrates.

But SWU athletic director Ryan Aznar may have given up that advantage.

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The lifetime ban against Poligrates was harsh.

Almost everybody I’ve talked with, agreed with that.

But Ryan may be messing things up.

He’s pressuring the board, he’s talking too much and he’s beginning to contradict himself.

Ryan said he’s only after Poligrates’ future, that’s why he’s fighting.

If Poligrates can’t play in the Cesafi, he can’t be a scholar—hence his education is jeopardized. That’s what SWU is trying to avoid.

But then Ryan said that if the board won’t act on their appeal favorably, they’re going to skip this season.

That’s where, I think, he contradicts himself.

Sans a Cesafi stint, there’s no scholarship for the players, right? Instead of one player, SWU will have one whole team in the sideline.

The dare of pulling out of the Cesafi and the call for Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy’s resignation is an empty threat.

For its first seven years, Cesafi basketball did well without SWU.

What would stop the board from calling Ryan’s bluff and say, “Go ahead and good riddance?”

Cesafi doesn’t need SWU.

SWU needs Cesafi.

Instead of pressuring the board, Ryan could have done better by giving the board a reason to act on their appeal, favorably.

The board members are like the parents, SWU, the child.

If a child asks for a favor, would he act like a brat and say, “Give me this, or I’ll run away?”

Or would he make up his room, clean the house, do the laundry and come home early, hoping the parents notice his “good behavior” and reward him?

Pressuring the board isn’t a good thing, especially if you’re far from being a model member.

As to Felix’s resignation, well, Cesafi needs the commissioner, not the other way around.

Ryan should also remember that Felix has resigned in the past, but the board did not accept it. And based on a conversation a few months back, Felix will do well by leaving Cesafi.

He gets to spend more time doing meaningful things and he avoids issues like this.

Also, the fact that’s its only Ryan who’s calling for Felix’s resignation may mean the rest doesn’t want the commissioner to leave.

But this is not to say that Cesafi is entirely blameless.

One of Ryan’s complaints was the failure of Cesafi to fully compensate for a player injured in last season’s Partners Cup.

The Partners Cup was supposed to shoulder any injury-related expenses, whether aggravated or not.

Perhaps, the commissioner thought there was no problem because SWU didn’t raise a ruckus when it got paid partially for its injured player?

It’s still months to go before the Cesafi opens, but these are interesting times for the league.

Let’s wait and see how this latest drama unfolds.

AUSTRALIAN OPEN. This is it folks, the year’s first major starts today and with Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin back in the fold, the women’s draw is getting more interesting.

As to the men’s draw, well, there’s always Roger Federer and Grand Slam No. 16.