Fair Play: How can you discourage cheating in Cesafi?

AGAIN, another case of age-cheating has hit the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. basketball tournament and like in the previous cases, it’s in the high school division.

This one stinks because the player caught--Mark James Roa of Cebu Eastern College-- was an All-Star last year and was a key player in the Dragons. He snipped two years off his age in his NSO, and in turn, Cesafi snipped his right to earn a scholarship in any Cesafi member school forever.

It was a bad decision on Roa’s part that’s going to stigmatize him forever. Branded as a cheat, barred from getting a scholarship in Cesafi and humiliated in school; what’s left for him?

In terms of a future playing college basketball in Cebu. None. Unless, of course, there’s another school league that will sprout to rival Cesafi, and Roa can hope to latch on to a scholarship.

Ramifications aren’t usually considered when one decides to cheat, only when caught. And the tale of Chua and those of the other players caught cheating should serve as caution to those who plan to alter their records in the future.

Don’t do it. Whatever temporary gains will not be worth it. Aside from tarnishing the reputation of your school, you tarnish your reputation also. Yours and your family.

How can Cesafi or any other league discourage age-cheating? The prospect of a lifetime ban doesn’t seem to deter cheats. Should schools be also punished to force them to be more diligent in checking their athletes’ papers?

A fine, suspension or expulsion? That may be warranted if the offense came with an official’s blessing but too much if a school had no idea an athlete used Mickey Mouse papers.

I think the best way to discourage cheats is to reward good behavior in the league--by players, officials and schools. Sometimes, if one gets away with an under-the-table act, others follow.

But if you encourage good behavior, perhaps others will behave too?

How? I have no idea really, but for starters, how about Cesafi letting schools who submit papers in time and in order host a game of their choice at least once?

Or copy what they do in international youth football tournaments, where they reward teams for having the least offenses with a green card.

In Cesafi’s case, since the league doesn’t have an overall champion, how about a trophy for the most compliant or behaved school after the end of all tournaments? That’s a reward a school can really brag about.


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