Opinion: Parents of college cagers speak out
Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - June 19, 2019 - 1:44pm

MANILA, Philippines – We sat down with several parents of some student-athletes who had quite something to say about collegiate sports. They spoke either in English, Tag-lish or in Tagalog, yet the expressions of frustration and concern well all the same.

The parents of a player who was cut from the team

“When my son was recruited, the coach and the team manager stressed that education was important, more than basketball. Of course, basketball was important. Who doesn’t want to see their son play not only for the school, but also if possible, the national team and in the PBA?”

“But my son was cut after playing several years for the team. He was part of the rotation, not some end-of-the-bench player. That came as a surprise to us. And then they take away the scholarship. We all feel broken. My son’s dreams are broken. We are broken? We expect things like that maybe in the PBA but not in college. We regret going to that school.”

The father of a son who was 'sold' to another team and eventually cut too

“My son became a star for this team and many other schools saw him play and recruited him away to play for their teams. The coach of his team sold him for an amount of money. I don’t think the school even saw one centavo for that sale? But what is my son? Some commodity to be traded and sold in the stock market?”

“Then I heard this coach was selling another of his players later on in exchange for a slot as an assistant coach of a pro basketball team. This man has no integrity.”

“My son is trying to pick up the pieces of his basketball career that has gone nowhere. He went from star of his college team to a bench player who plays what — four minutes a game. It is a good thing that he is studious. But I feel bad. I know he feels bad. Hopefully, we can give his basketball dream one last shot.”

The mother of a player accused of throwing a game

“When I heard that my son was accused of throwing a game, I said it is not possible. I know that parents are usually the last to know about things especially the bad ones. But my son comes home and I do not see changes in how he plays or what things he has. They say that he has these new gadgets or even a car. But the car he drives belongs to his girlfriend. It isn’t even his! And throwing a game in the preseason? There is betting in preseason games?”

“Can my son not have a bad game? Many others have bad games?” 

“I am not blind or even dumb. I am sure it does happen. But have you ever heard of coaches admitting to their faults in their coaching? It is always the officiating, always the players. And what is the reputation of this coach? Everywhere he goes, he blames players.”

“I am upset.”

Two different parents of kids who got involved in a fight during a game

Parent 1: “When I saw that the fight was breaking out, since I was close to the sidelines and my son was on the court, the first thing I did was pull my son away. I told him, ‘Do not get involved in things like this. Stay away from it.’”

Parent 2: “I understand that the game is physical. And I played varsity ball too during my time. I know it can get rough and fights do happen. But I do not condone a coach calling for his players to play this way. And to hurt. They should be the first to pull their players away and stop the fight. It is shocking to see the coaches not do anything. You know that they instructed their players to play this way.” 

“Does the school allow this to happen? More so if it happens often enough. Is this what they stand for?”

“I wasn’t at the game. Had I been there, it would have been hard for me not to enter the court — but to protect my son.”

“I hope that the school and tournament officials in all leagues ensure that they are quick to put an end to this or at least, quick to put a stop to things like this on the court. Even before it happens.”

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