Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fair Play: CFA must teach cheating coaches a tough lesson

THE thing that I hate most in sports are coaches that cheat. They are the scummest of scums who don’t deserve to be handling teams.

I was exposed to age cheating early. Then, it was so prevalent that it seemed the norm. So, when I saw a few teammates who were off to a provincial meet memorizing new birth dates from their tampered birth certificates, I thought nothing of it as it was normal.

But that was when I was in elementary when the only way to win baseball titles was to beat the age limit. This is now.

Cheating is not normal. Never should have and never will be.

In the case of Cebu, thankfully, cheating is not normal. Cheats get caught, eventually and get their due.

One of the biggest case of cheating in Cebu happened almost five years ago, when a runner from San Nicolas Elementary School was stripped of his four gold medals after it was discovered he was three years over the age limit.

Cebu football, too, is age cheating-free. It’s a small community and everybody knows everybody. If you start in the P6 age groups, you’d be facing the same guys until you get to the Boys or Girls 18-Under. In Cebu football, what rankles players is “cheating” in the eligibility of players in the inter company or inter BPO divisions.

So the case of the coach who fielded overaged players in the age group division of the Sinulog Cup is surprising. It’s a disappointing scenario.

But the response from the CFA shouldn’t be surprising. It should be one that sends the message, “cheats are not welcome.”

Teach the coach a lesson, so others would pay attention. Ban him from all CFA competitions for at least three years and encourage the Department of Education to do the same should he be involved in a DepEd meet.

And if he comes forward and says “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. It wasn’t intentional.”

Then that alone should warrant a lifetime ban. A coach should know his players and if he’s incompetent enough not to know whether his players are eligible or not, then he has no business leading them.

For Cebu football to remain age-cheating free, teach cheats a lesson they will never forget.

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