This appears in the Monday March 25, 2013 edition of the Business Mirror.
The Hypocrisy Rule Part 2
The Hypocrisy Rule Part 2
by rick olivares
While in discussion with a team manager from a UAAP school the other day, he explained why his school voted for the imposition of the two-year residency rule for student-athletes moving from one UAAP high school to another UAAP college.
It goes like this: when a school recruits a person who happens to be a terrific athlete, it spends for his or her transportation, board and lodging, training, schooling, and allowances among others. Some of the better athletes are sometimes asked to sign contracts that will ensure their staying in the school system from high school until college.
This team manager believes that it is only right that the school keep what they invested in. Should the person want to transfer, the new school must pay for the expenses incurred (including some pricey freebies thrown) and the student must sit out two years before playing!
There is a lot that is wrong with that statement including the word “investment”. This not like a showbiz or broadcast talent leaving one station for another. That is a business decision where there are “no compete” clauses in contracts and such.
First of all, in the absence of rules, whatever recruiting methods practiced are considered legal. But that begets the argument that whatever happened to collegiate sports? Furthermore, is what is going on moral? Isn’t the term “student-athlete” and not “athlete-student”?
For the sake of argument, should student-athletes be signing contracts when they are minors (regardless whether they have parents or guardians with them at the time of the signing)?
Schools are willing to offer contracts to these athletic marvels that’s like a free pass to college but to the regular student in high school, he or she must still take the entrance exam to their own college?
I find it hilarious that a student who will pay tuition will not get a free pass while an athlete who will be paid to play for that school. And that is what is wrong with college sports today.
Let’s ditch that “amateur” tag. With all the recruiting going on with these rumors of packages regarding gas stations, cars, condos, houses and lots, allowances, paying for a parent’s medical fees, refurbishing a school’s basketball court, sending a player’s college coach (plus one) on an all-expenses paid trip to the United States, laptops, and whatnot, college sports has become professional in nature. And now they even come with agents!
Lost in the shuffle is education. What ever happened to education?
Once upon a time, I thought that the ultimate recruiting pitch was to play for a school. That was it. Playing for a school was a labor of love.
That changed in the 1990s when recruiting went into overdrive.
I find it highly offensive that in order to get players or keep players they have to be paid. And then as minors, even with their parents behind them, they are made to sign agreements. A kid at that point, not knowing the entire world before him, will sign just to get somewhere.
That is why I am extremely proud of Mickey Ingles, the recent bar top-notcher who captained his college football team to three titles then decided to forego his final playing year to study in China before plunging into law school. Mickey played in the United Football League for a while but as much as he loved the sport (he also never knew the UFL would get that big) he studied hard, worked part time in a law firm, then topped the bar. He now plays in my Ateneo Football League where he can still play the game on weekends. Ingles, in my opinion, is the epitome of the student-athlete and should do more as a more solid recruiting pitch that what any other package. You know, play on a winning team and get a good education. But then again, I could be wrong. The lure of the package especially for the not-so-well-off can be too enticing.
Unfortunately, the way college sports is run nowadays, winning is everything.
I believe that a player recruited for a high school, no matter what the cost, would have returned and paid that debt by already playing out the years asked of him. We would love for homegrown players to stay where they are but it doesn’t work that way. People will always make choices on what they want to do, what they want to learn, where they want to study (or even if they do not want to study for the matter), and where they want to play.
I can understand the one-year residency when someone transfers colleges but to sit out two years straight from high school to college? That doesn’t make sense. As I have previously written, it’s modern-day slavery.
Recruiting has become like trying to win the affection of a girl. You go out with her on dates, you spend for flowers, dining, movies, out of town trips, cellphones, laptops, gifts – doesn’t this sound all too familiar – yet some times, one loses her in the end because she chooses someone else. It is a fact of life.
How does one take rejection? Some drink. Some eat. Some cry. Some drink, eat, and cry. Some shrug and take the advice that “there’s lots of fish in the ocean.” Some do other things to be distracted. Some take it the wrong way by posting intimate videos or pictures on social media.
Some on the other hand, pass rules like a two-year residency period.