Thursday, October 13, 2005

Beyond basketball, Benitez and bashing La Salle

I asked myself if it's worth opening the can of worms that is the Benitez blunder. It's so tempting to crack jokes and make snide remarks about La Salle's fall from grace (after all, those Salgado text jokes were helluva funny ;p), but the disgrace our favorite foes are facing now is so humiliating that even this die-hard Atenean has to feel sorry for them. Besides, the manner in which they're handling the whole issue-- coming clean and informing the UAAP board, plus voluntarily forfeiting their 2004 championship crown and their runner-up standing this season-- is so darn apologetic and disgustingly righteous, it's impossible to mock them without sounding spiteful.

But I do have a bone to pick with the way the newspapers are brandishing "scholastic integrity" as the reason La Salle blew the whistle on itself. I do not know the true motives behind their confession, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt and consider that they really did it in the spirit of fair play and honesty. However, I'm not buying all that "scholastic integrity" BS. If they are so concerned about academic integrity, why do they accept students like Benitez in the first place? Even without the forged PEPTCR, the guy looks about as smart as a sofa. Would they have us believe he actually passed the DLSU entrance exam on his own merits?

Now I'm sure La Salle isn't the only school that lowers its admission standards for talented athletes (I have my suspicions that LA Tenorio's shooting average might be a tad higher than his IQ). Everyone knows the perks and special treatment varsity players receive, even-- and perhaps especially-- in esteemed institutions like La Salle and Ateneo. Members of the men's basketball team in particular are spoonfed, pampered and practically worshipped. Recruitment of good basketball players has become both aggressive and reckless; as long as the kid can dribble, pass, and shoot, who cares if he can read, spell, or add? In the middle of this Benitez brouhaha, maybe we're overlooking the real issue: that the quality of students universities are accepting and allowing to graduate from their schools is being compromised for the sake of winning basketball trophies.

I am reminded of a line from a radio advert for the Samuel L. Jackson movie Coach Carter: "...student athlete: student first, athlete second." Schools like La Salle and Ateneo should keep in mind that their being academic institutions should come first, and their being basketball teams a very distant second. That way, no one has to end up forfeiting their championship titles, nor compromising their scholastic integrity.


At Thursday, October 13, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want to know something sad? The Ateneo Ladies' team won, but there's no hype surrounding them. Ouch.

"The guy looks about as smart as a sofa"--> I think to say this would embarrass sofas everywhere. :)


At Thursday, October 13, 2005, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

So I heard. Someone told me there were huge banners around campus saying "Thank you LA, Magnum, Badjie, etc." and then these dinky little signs saying "Congratulations Lady Eagles." The glaring double standard. Tsk tsk.

And I sincerely apologize to sofas everywhere for my careless remark. I like sofas, especially soft leather ones. :p

At Saturday, October 15, 2005, Anonymous karen said...

1 love coach carter! (okay, not HIM, the movie)

my fitness goal: 1000 push ups! eeeew.. baka buff na ako nun parang female bodybuilder.. *shudders* n0ooooo!

even though the link on your page says "Ramos".. i will still comment as "karen". why? wala lang.. para girly!! haha *eyelash flutter*

At Sunday, October 16, 2005, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I think I have the (pirated) Coach Carter DVD. I'm guessing it's Dangerous Minds meets Remember the Titans. :) I wish there were more inspiring teachers/coaches in real life. Maybe then there would be less Benitezes around.

At Tuesday, October 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree... lets not bash sofas by comparing them to Benitez... Sofas are useful tools you know, I cant say the same about the La Sallite oaf...

At Tuesday, October 18, 2005, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Yang, your love for Benitez is showing. :p


Post a Comment

<< Home