The fans and the raucous cheers will be a lot more silent next year after Eliud Poligrates of the Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras was given a lifetime ban by the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) Board of Trustees for ?gross dishonesty.?
The sudden development transpired from last week after the lead guard of the Cobras denied having played in a game in Lokana, Brgy. Calunasan when asked during an investigation initiated by league commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy.
However, in a follow-up investigation made at the venue itself, it was found out that Poligrates indeed played but under the name ?J. Mangubat? and scored a whopping 57 points. These findings were supported by an affidavit signed by tournament organizer Saldy Ebarita and Cesafi referee Temis Inocian.
As a result, Poligrates was originally suspended for the rest of the season for violating the Cesafi rule that prohibits players from playing in other tournaments while the Cesafi competition is still ongoing.
But Tiukinhoy, who made the recommendation to elevate Poligrates' punishment citing the Cesafi Code of Ethics, said that Poligrates should not have lied about his involvement so as not to complicate matters even further.
?Why did he use another name? It was dishonesty in the eyes of the Board and in the eyes of the people who watched him play there in Calunasan. The Cesafi is an organization founded on values of honesty and this can not be tolerated,? he said.
Poligrates admitted that he did lie about his participation in Lokana but it was out of fear that prompted him to do so.
?Siyempre, nahadlok ko na kasab-an na sad ko. If mao jud na ang decision, dawaton na lang nako. Problema ani kung maka-skwela ug maka-graduate pa ba kaha ko. Depende na na ila Sir Ryan (Aznar) kung pa-skwelahon pa ba ko nila. Kung di jud gani, uli na lang ko sa Camotes (Island), mananum na lang ug gabi,? said a tearful Poligrates, a 22-year old, HRM student.
Tiukinhoy also recommended that SWU be suspended for one year starting next season for letting their suspended players compete in the knockout game between the Cobras and the University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors last Oct. 13.
Poligrates, along with Rene Pacquiao and Jeff Pria were given the green light to play by SWU management to show that they were not guilty of any wrongdoing.
SWU athletic director Ryan Aznar was enraged about the aforementioned decisions and said that they will answer all the questions point by point next week.
?He (Tiukinhoy) is acting god. Kung unsa iyang decision, mao pirmi ang matuman. We were not given due process. He should be fair to everybody. He really cannot be stopped now,? Aznar said in an interview yesterday. He also accused the commissioner of being hypocritical with his decisions.
?Is he really pro-player or anti-player? In the (Jade) Dionson case, he said that he gave the player the green light to play kay because he had the student and player's welfare in mind. Now with Poligrates' case, iyang gi-ban for life, unsaon na lang man ni ug pag-graduate? ? Aznar added.