NAVAL, Biliran — “If I cannot retire after 38 years of service because of what my coach did, I will accept it. But someone has to pay”, a firm and indignant Rosendo Alivio, sports director of Naval State University, remarked.
Cheating mires the 2016 SCUAA games, as multiple instances of ineligible players competing for the host school have been sniffed out by the sports directors of the other SUCs.
A transferee who failed to meet residency requirements was allowed by NSU to play for their table tennis team. This was discovered only after the games have begun, which caused problems in the rankings. The entire NSU table tennis team was disqualified, and the coach fined for the damages caused to the schedule and the games. The athlete later apologized, and admitted that he indeed did not meet residency requirements. The athlete was not penalized.
Another transferee who was previously from LNU, and did not meet residency requirements, was enlisted in NSU’s athletics team. LNU sports director Jerauld Lirios, knowing his players well, immediately caught the attempted bypassing of the rules. The attention of the athlete was called, and he was disqualified. According to the athlete, he was forced by his coach to play. The coach allegedly argued that since the student enrolled again as first year, he was eligible. But he was still a transferee and did not meet residency requirements. NSU sports director Rosendo Alivio said that the player approached him and told him of his desire to compete despite being a transferee from LNU. To this Alivio responded by telling him to ‘ask permission from sir Jed’ who was his previous sports director.
But perhaps the most blatant form of cheating came in the case of NSU’s basketball team. Christian Senn Laude, a former USC Warriors basketball player, and transferee with questionable records and without proper residency was petitioned against by EVSU’s basketball coach, after the NSU basketball team dominated EVSU on a 32-point lead, according to biliranisland.com.
Laude was a player for the USC tigers in the CESAFI All-star games in 2014. In his personal Facebook account, Laude can be seen donning a ‘number 8’ USC Jersey. Laude’s records are questionable. He failed a subject which was listed in as ‘enrolled’, but it was hand written into the report card, along with another subject.
On top of that, Laude has admitted to NSU sports director Rosendo Alivio that he was a commercial player, and that he is being paid to compete in different basketball events. SCUAA guidelines indicate under section nine, that “athletes must not have joined any commercial competition”.
Sabonsolin blames screening committee
NSU basketball coach Rhine Sabonsolin insisted that it was the fault of the sports directors, for not calling out the mistake earlier during the screening of players. He also claims to be unaware of the rules on player residency, despite him being in the coach and assistant coach position for a number of years already.
Multiple evidence, and personal accounts of different sports directors, however, suggest otherwise.
But one sports director, who chose not to be identified, doubted the sincerity of Sabonsolin’s claims at ignorance.
“May permit to play pero kulang ang documents, ang lakas ng bata, siguro he’s somebody”, said one sports director.
Meanwhile, LNU sports director Jerauld Lirios took offense for the blame being shifted to them as alleged neglect.
“Katwiran nila hindi nakita ang pictures ng bata sa internet, and now they’re putting the blame on us. Nagkaroon daw ng screening, bakit pinalusot? Kasi hindi nilagay na transferee ba yung bata. Walang TOR from the other school. So inakala naming na first year talaga. They lied on the documents. Being an SUC, I trust you because we belong to one society”, says Lirios.
NSU sports director not at fault
Sabonsolin claims to not have been provided with a copy of the guidelines by Alivio. But a document with what appears to be Sabonsolin’s handwriting was found. Both the PASUC records officer, and NSU softball coach Benneth Icain testified that the handwritings in blue ink on a copy of last year’s SCUAA guidelines was Sabonsolin’s.
LNU sports director Jerauld Lirios also refutes Sabonsolin’s play at ignorance.
“I saw sir Alivio gave guidelines sa mga coaches. Gi-insert sa envelope nila but hindi nila sinunod”, says Jerauld Lirios of LNU.
Sabonsolin has also been a coach for three years, and was the assistant coach during last year’s SCUAA at VSU when NSU’s basketball team was also disqualified because of records tampering on the birthdate of a player.
According to Alivio, Sabonsolin was late at submitting the documents for his players even with constant reminders. Because of this, one of his players was disqualified. Sabonsolin faulted Alivio despite the late submission of the TOR being his fault.
“I was the one he blamed for that because according to him, I did not plead for consideration.”, said Alivio.
LNU sports director Jerauld Lirios believes that this act of cheating was not Alivio’s.
“Nag-take advantage sila sa pagka-sports director ni sir Alivio. Sa sobrang busy, he failed to recheck the papers.”
Heads will roll
NSU OIC-President Matias Bentor Jr. is deeply angered by the cheating that transpired.
Alivio says there is a big possibility that someone will be removed from service because of this, and that because it is his command responsibility, he fears it might be him. Alivio is retireable and has a family to support.
“If I cannot retire after 38 years of service because of what my coach did, I will accept it. But someone has to pay”, this is what a firm and indignant Rosendo Alivio remarked.
Investigations are being thoroughly pursued. The host school is determined to punish whoever is behind the tarnishing of NSU’s reputation as both an athletic delegation and an SUC. Rightfully so, as the different competing SUCs are also deeply disturbed by what happened.
“Hindi lang NSU ang nadamay, buong tournament ng SCUAA kasi pag may nadiscover [na cheating], nasisira ang result. For us, we don’t care who wins, our goal is to discover players for national” said one sports director, who chose not to be identified.
“Kami parang masira ang ulo sa screening from coach, registrar, staff, and sports director. Just so we won’t look like fools and will all be qualified. It’s about time to teach them a lesson,” remarked LNU sports director Lirios.
Suspensions and scholarships at stake
The entire NSU basketball team is suspended for one SCUAA season, while NSU basketball coach Rhine Sabonsolin, and his coaching staff Adam Bunami and Nemesio Lora are suspended for two SCUAA seasons.
All of the players involved are to be stripped of their varsity scholarships. Much to their dismay, Rosendo Alivio, NSU sports director admits there is not much that can be done.
“I was approached by a student who asked me, Sir, paano ang scholarship namin? I told them, you ask forgiveness from sir Bentor in the meeting, so that maybe you can be allowed to play another sport to sustain your scholarship” says Alivio.
But Bentor’s anger at the meeting terrified the athletes so much, that they did not even bother to come inside. Some of the athletes rely solely on the varsity scholarship for their schooling, and without it, may be forced to stop.