Franz Pumaren says basketball program now ‘secondary’ in college recruitment
MANILA, Philippines—Franz Pumaren has a philosophy when it comes to coaching, but he admits that the search for talent has changed drastically that it’s spun into near madness.
From what used to revolve solely around sports and education, the Adamson head coach said collegiate athletics have now become a whole new landscape with money a big part of the equation.
“What’s happening in college basketball, that’s why it’s sad for me to say, but it’s getting out of control,” said Pumaren, who recalled an incident when one of the Board representatives asked him what an ideal allowance for a student-athlete is.
“I told him it should be eight to 10,000 only. But we have to accept the reality that even though you pass that to the Board you think the the supposed donations won’t be there? If everybody will follow a certain amount to be given to student-athletes, it’s going to be fair to all schools,” said Pumaren in the Coaches Unfiltered podcast.
“What the parents are supposed to look at is who has the best basketball program? But right now the basketball program has become secondary. The leading thought there is what’s in it for the athlete, for the parents, and everything.”
Pumaren said that although it hasn’t been reported, this kind of trade is so prevalent that it has become an open secret.
“I don’t know if the schools will react, maybe I hit a nerve but that’s the reality. It’s an open secret. Like what happened to the players I’ve developed, they’re being used, and they’ll transfer schools, and why do you think they transferred? Because of a program? Who are you joking? That’s the sad reality.”
Nevertheless, Pumaren is a man who’d rather develop a player rather than pluck someone who’s already tailor-made.
Pumaren said that the measure of a college coach is to develop a player in the final years of his scholastic life and help that athlete reach his full potential.
“For me, my definition of college coach is you know how to develop players. You know how to bring the best out of the player,” said Pumaren who used his backcourt Jerrick Ahanmisi and Jerome Lastimosa as examples.
“Jerrick tried out for several schools and they didn’t get him probably because he was not ready to play college here because their thinking was different. They wanted someone who was ready.”
Adamson’s scrawny shooter became its most potent scorer, putting up an average of 13 points and 2.2 three-pointers per game in Season 82.
Pumaren said that Lastimosa was a similar case having come from Dumaguete and was basically an unknown to most in the UAAP circle.
Nevertheless, Lastimosa blossomed into one of the UAAP’s top tier point guards averaging 8.5 points and 3.2 assists for the Falcons and Pumaren believes his recruit has more to offer in the coming seasons.
“We’re so proud of our program, we were able to recruit players that are maybe under the radar,” said Pumaren. “Those are the priceless gifts that they can give me, those players that aren’t highly-recruited but we were able to develop them. I don’t believe in band-aid [solutions]. Some want results right away, of course that’s case to case.”
“If you look at the big schools, they want instant results and it’s like they don’t want to develop which is like the PBA style. You want to get one that’s ripe already.”