On Tab Baldwin, coaching, and employment.
by rick olivares
With the news of Tab Baldwin’s appointment as Ateneo head coach, it was inevitable that the Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines (BCAP) would rear its head and cite the law that protects jobs for Filipinos.
The coaches' body is well within their right to challenge the appointment and we must applaud them for their efforts to improve coaching and protect their ranks. Now moving forward, I would like to challenge that particular rule’s validity in today’s world. I think it is time to revisit many rules that I believe to be antiquated just to see how they make sense in today’s world. And this coaching concern is one of them.
It is not because it involves Ateneo. Far from it. I never did see anything wrong with the attempts to install Joe Ward, Todd Purves, Rajko Toroman, and Bill Bayno in different coaching capacities and different organizations. After all, they do not come in bunches. Furthermore, it is rather expensive to bring over foreign coaches.
But first, the coaching position is one of the most volatile and unsteady jobs in the world. You’re only as good as your last win. To be blunt about it, Norman Black said as a coach, "you get hired to get fired."
Now let’s take a look at the three major leagues in the country — the PBA, UAAP, and NCAA.
For example, since 2010, not counting the KIA/Mahindra and BlackWater, the two expansion clubs,
Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel Beer have had six head coaches;
the Alaska Aces, Barako Bull, and the Star Hotshots, since that same time frame have had four;
Talk ’N Text has had three;
and Rain Or Shine and Meralco have had two.
GlobalPort which joined the PBA in 2012 has had six head coaching changes in three years! Unbelievable.
Over at the UAAP, it is the same pattern of the revolving door of coaches:
the UP Fighting Maroons have had six;
the La Salle Green Archers, UE Red Warriors and the Adamson Falcons have had four;
and the FEU Tamaraws have had three.
Over at the NCAA, it is no different.
San Beda and San Sebastian have had four.
Letran, Perpetual Help, Arellano, and EAC have had three.
So is there security of tenure? None.
Is anyone’s job being threatened? I think it’s more of the sanity of the schools and the team managers.
Baldwin’s tenure is pegged for one year. One year and how does that threaten the livelihood of local coaches?
You say there are other coaches who are capable of taking over the Blue Eagles? Find me someone now. You have to take the good and the bad with no ifs and buts.
Companies say like PLDT or even SMC definitely vet their applicants. I am pretty sure they surveyed the field before settling on a choice. Now if that choice doesn’t pan out, then they are shown the door.
If we are bent on caring for the Pinoy worker we should challenge that contractual rule that does not give benefits to people who work in places like those big malls or monopolistic corporations. That is even more anti-Filipino and anti-worker than a head coaching position that is here today and gone tomorrow.
The world is a smaller place because of migration, trade and economy, and the internet. Through the past few decades, we have seen Filipinos move abroad and conduct themselves well. If the US and Europe allowed open migration we might see the Philippines empty itself. We should be glad that people want to come over and live here much less work here. The exchange in ideas and cultures can only be beneficial to all people regardless of borders. That is how the world works these days.
If in Germany, home of the four-time FIFA World Cup champions, have a Spaniard coaching their best football team, Bayern Munich, why can’t we be more open minded?
The top-football club in England, Manchester United, is coached by a Dutchman.
Of course, we aren’t suggesting that we open employment to every foreigner. There should be procedures and mechanisms in place.
I believe that we can harvest the best of what the world has to offer by opening our doors and not closing them and being a little more open-minded.
Thanks to lawyer friends Jay Lopez, Vincent Edward Festin, and Terence Fernando for their insights.