Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fair Play: A fine Cesafi season

KACHING!

That’s the sound Cesafi players should get used to if they get thrown out in basketball.

That’s P5,000 for acting like a brat, thank you very much.

Ooh? You did it again, give me 10 grand and you can kiss your season goodbye.

I suspect some of the players and coaches won’t be fine with all these fines but it’s fine by me.

Sure, it may add to your machismo when you’re wearing your barangay’s or town’s colors when you go after that petulant fool who dared elbow you as you were trying to show your prettier angle to the crush-ng-bayan, but in the Cesafi? It speaks loads of your lack of immaturity, and indirectly, of your team and your school.

I’m just curious, though, why Cesafi—which had this rule for years—only decided to be strict this year.

I remember last year that no sooner had Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy said he was looking forward to a controversy-free season after a walk-out and suspension-marred 2009 campaign, he had controversies for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

Is this his final attempt at getting the players to toe the line?

Will it work? I hope so.

I hope, too, the fine-system will be extended to football to a certain degree.

I’ve always thought the expulsion and automatic one-game suspension for football for violent conduct is only a slap on the wrist. You see, a player who handles the ball twice, or the other player’s balls, will get the same punishment as one that rearranges another’s face by a surgical uppercut. (And this one really happened in Cesafi)

Is it fair? It’s in the rules.

A red card and a suspension, these days, are no longer deterrents to and in the Cesafi I’ve seen sneaky uppercuts that would have made Freddie Roach proud.

Add a P5,000 fine, that must be paid before a player is considered to have served his
suspension, well, it might just stop these hot heads from channeling their inner MMA stars.

Also, if you put in a fine-system like this, the officials will be pressured to, well, do their jobs.

If I remember it correctly, that phantom punch would have been spotted, and the aggressor justly punished, if the fourth official only did his job.

“Wala man ko kita kay nalingaw ko sa dula,” the official told me when I asked him.

Somebody else pointed out the obvious to me much later, “Mao bitaw na na-a fourth official kay para mubantay layo sa bola. Kay ang referee ug assistant refree naa sa bola ila mata.”

It’s still more than a month to go before the Cesafi season officially kicks off and I’m pretty sure we are going to hear a lot more about the fines the Cesafi will be meting out to players who ask for them.

I just hope that between now and then, the Cesafi board, commissioner, coaches, players and athletic directors sit down, talk about these rules, acknowledge that there are rules in place.

Because often, all these controversies crop up because coaches say, “That’s not in the rules!” “No, we didn’t agree to that!” “We didn’t know!”

I wonder what this Cesafi season will hold.

I hope it’s going to be fine.

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