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Basketballers question CBC report

...calls for Warwick to resign
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
NBFTT president Garvin Warwick

President of the National Basketball Federation of T&T (NBFTT) Garvin Warwick has been asked to explain why his president’s report of the recent Caribbean Basketball Confederation (CBC) congress contained a word-for-word transcription of an article on the CBC’s Web site concerning the same congress.

This was the demand from several stakeholders in local basketball, who reiterated the call for Warwick to resign for his failure to register T&T’s two senior national teams for the CBC championships.

The CBC hosted a congress on January 31, following which it released an article on its Web site about the meeting titled: “Successful Congress Held in Bridgetown, Barbados”. Warwick attended the congress along with the heads of other regional basketball associations. 

However, on February 21, during the NBFTT’s board meeting after the congress, Warwick tabled a report titled: “President’s Report as at 14th February 2015 CBC Congress 2015”, which comprised of two parts. The first was an alleged exact copy of the same article published on CBC’s Web site. The second half of the report titled “Stakeholders Meeting Updated” gave an update to the board “with the current progress with regards to stakeholders/sponsors”.

According to the CBC article and Warwick’s report, the 2015 CBC Championships were discussed at the congress. 

However, at no point in the NBFTT board meeting, according to several board members, was the issue of T&T’s participation at the tournament or the Board informed that T&T did not pay its registration fees. It was not included either in the president’s report. 

This, according to the same board members, left them with the impression that T&T was part of the tournaments.

The latest revelation has added to the mounting pressure on Warwick and the NBFTT’s general secretary, Claire Mitchell to resign from their respective positions since both kept the Board in the dark about T&T’s true status about the championships.

A media release was issued on Sunday on behalf of several current and former national team players, as well as national team coaches, who claimed the NBFTT’s elected officers “failed in their duty and responsibility to look after the welfare and well being of the players, its stakeholders and the development of the sport”.

The release criticised the NBFTT’s Board, namely Warwick and Mitchell, for “misleading” and “disrespecting” them.

Last week, NBFTT vice president Daron Lall, in a letter to all Board members, also called for the resignations of Warwick and Mitchell. Lall said he was unconstitutionally excluded by Warwick and Mitchell at Board meetings and discussions.

The contents of the media release by the players and coaches, were approved by those who attended the meeting on March 3 which includes current national players women’s team captain Patrice Edwards, her teammates, Allison Young and Alicia Cumberbatch, national women’s team coach, Christopher Jackson Charles, former national assistant coach Keith Clement and others.

The release stated that they were all surprised when they recently discovered that T&T would play no part in the men’s and women’s CBC tournaments this year.

“The decision to not pay the registration has never been discussed by the NBFTT Board level which is constitutional according to article 12.3 of the NBFTT constitution.”

Deadline for registering teams for the CBC event was in October but T&T was given two additional extensions in November. 

The NBFTT, in a separate press release last week, blamed a low budgetary subvention by the Government and mounting debts for its inability to pay the registration fees of US$2,000.

The players and coaches have taken issue with the NBFTT’s explanation and handling of the situation, claiming they were deceived and disrespected.

“After missing the payment the players and the coaches on several occasions when they enquired in December 2014 and again in January and February about when practice will start. 

“The players and coaches were always assured that practice was starting soon giving the impression that T&T will be a participant at the championships. 

“However, it was only on March 1 in a newspaper article that the coaches and players realised that T&T will not be participating in the women’s competition.”

“(Following) the March 3 meeting (we) believe that such level of misleading and deceiving players, coaches and members of the basketball community should never be allowed to continue and repeat itself ever again in this sport. 

For some players this means that their careers have come to a disappointing end and that the momentum gained by the women’s teams at CBC 2014, and the CAC Games in November was (sic) in vain.”

According to the release, one day following the meeting between players and coaches, the NBFTT failed to keep an appointment to meet with the players and technical staff to discuss the matter.

Attempts by the T&T Guardian to contact Warwick via his cell phone and text messages proved futile. 


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