Years ago

Parenting Rules Force Abby Bishop out of Worlds

This topic has sparked a bit of debate this week.

The other side of the argument

Netball Australia's take;

Insight into Team USA's handling of the parent situation;

Blog on

My take;

BA seems to be implementing policies knowing their players situations in order to rule them ineligible. I find this strange. Perhaps they don't want to make any cuts and will wait until there are 10 players left on the team.

This quote;

BA high-performance manager Chuck Harmison said:

"We are allowing her to bring the child to the training camps and the games. A number of teams wouldn't allow that.
"She can bring the child with her, if she funds the caregiver ... the Opals is the elite team. Caregivers come at a significant cost, and the athletes are provided with a salary and they also get Direct Athlete Support from the Australian government.
"Abby would have received that if she had made herself available for the Opals."

Comes across as though Chuck feels that women should be greatful for anything they recieve. He kind of sounds like a misogynist to me.

This quote from Chuck;

We're on a limited budget and if we start opening it up to covering cost of caregivers, we’ll run out of money pretty quickly and won’t win any medals."

Since 96 and without his involvment the Opals have won 2 bronze and a gold at the world champs and 2 Bronze and 3 silvers at the Olypmics. The men haven't won anything in this time.

It just seems strange that Kate Palmer of Netball Australia had some well thought out ideas on the topic. BA mentioned they sought out advice of NEtball Australia and the came back with a policy that rules out perhaps the one player that it will affect in the next decade.

Come someone please help me out with why Chuck has a job? Was he fired by the NBL, then ended up at BA?

Will BA make any decent hires in the near future?

Kristina Keneally - dud to the highest degree. Complete waste of space and money
Chuck - Not impressed in the slightest
Lemanis - good hire
Joyce - His hire appears to have been a bit of a bailout due to the Gold Coast Blaze issues although he seems like a nice guy.

Topic #34216 | Report this topic

Pauly B  
Years ago

Terrible decision from BA. Abby Bishop didn't ask to be in the situation she's in. She's stepped up big time to help her family at a very tough time. Very poor form BA, very poor

Reply #468949 | Report this post

Years ago

Opals players take on the issue:

"It has come across that Abby hasn't had any support, but she has. Maybe it's not enough, I don't know," (Erin) Phillips said.

"The disappointing part in all this is that it hasn't gotten through that Basketball Australia do support their athletes as best as they can, they've supported me and I know they've supported Abby.

"The Opals support Abby and the fact she's a single mother is a difficult task. It's not an easy job.

"If I was Abby I would need the funding and support and it's disappointing it's come across BA aren't offering support because that's not the case.

"We want Abby to be a part of the Opals ... and if I was in her shoes I'd want my child to come with me. Abby would definitely be welcome back."

BA initially said the new parental policy - which applies to four national teams - was to protect "the sanctity of high performance".

But it has said it would be happy for Zala to tour with the team and offered direct athlete support funding - from $6000 to $25,000 - for Bishop to use at her discretion.

Read more:

Reply #468957 | Report this post

Years ago

Quotes from Erin on not playing for Australia in 2012;

"It's hard when you're over here in the US and you hear a number of different versions of why you didn't make the Opals for London," she said.

"I'd like the chance to clear that up, from my point of view."

"I'd like to make it clear I always want to play for Australia," she said, though, she admitted, she was caught in a dilemma leading up to London.

"Back in 2011, I sat down with (then-Basketball Australia high performance manager) Wayne Carroll at Adelaide Airport to talk about the Opals and staying with the team," Phillips said.

"He handed me a contract and it was the wrong one, which was a bit embarrassing because it was for a young player not in the WNBA.

"These were (supposed to be) contracts to make it attractive for players in the WNBA to stay at home.

"I was making a good amount in the WNBA and had just established myself there."

So basically Erin wasn't happy with the support from BA/Opals 2 years ago, as she saw a player not in the wnba was getting equal or more funding then she was.

Now that she is at the top of the tree she can comment on others commitment to the national team and talk about how supportive BA are.

It basically sounds like Abby was offered the minimal funding amount and the likes of Erin and LJ were offered the highest amount (and rightfully so). Abby requested extra help with her unique situation and was turned down.

Reply #468960 | Report this post

Years ago

Is Australia so talent rich that it's OK for BA not to do everything possible for players as talented as Bishop? Sounds like an unpreparedness to do everything to get the best ten players to squad.

Reply #468965 | Report this post

Years ago

insensitive comments aside. I have to highlight a point that Harmison raises re DAS or direct athlete financial support provided by the government.( athletes receive a considerable amount from the government anywhere from (10-20k/6months) to offset some of the expenses that a national sporting organisation can not provide. some athletes spend it on airfares, some spend it on shoes some on hotels and some would spend it on childcare. harmison makes a valid point that abby never made herself available for opals and therefore was deemed not eligible for DAS, but would have been receiving DAS payments previously from the government for her past performances at an international level. put simply DAS is welfare for athletes. so is it not the DAS system failing the athlete on this situation and not basketball australia? if you spend some time in another olympic sport you will see that situations like this facing bishop are not uncommon. it is just disappointing to see the entitlement culture of basketball rearing its ugly head before asking the question, what has bishop received in the past and is she now entitled to some welfare to support her quest to the world championships?

Reply #468966 | Report this post

Years ago

What a terrible decision!!!!!!Chuck Harmison has never liked supported or shown any interest in womens Basketball. As I have read would this decision have been made if LJ was in this situation. Abby is a courageous young woman put in a difficult situation and has really stepped up, and all of the Aust BBall community should be supporting her and not making life more difficult. Maybe one of the "officials" can knock back their trip to the worlds and donate that money to looking that beautiful child. When is KK due back??? Or will she ever be.........

Reply #468972 | Report this post

Years ago

If BA help Abby out, and pay for caretakers etc, doesn't that then open the door and say that they should help all the mothers in the team take their children along. Unfortunately, I think that they have made the right decision.

Reply #468983 | Report this post

Years ago

Can someone explain to me how the parenting rules have forced Bishop out of the Opals?

Reply #468992 | Report this post

Years ago

She hasn't been forced out, she has chosen to withdraw.

Just like any other mother who is offered a job (although Abby I guess is only offered a chance to try out for the job), although turns it down as taking the job will make her worse off financially when the costs of childcare, travel, etc are factored in.

Reply #468993 | Report this post

Years ago

They should just do a charity thing at the games, i'm sure you get enough change from bball patrons to fund it.

Reply #469005 | Report this post

Years ago

I don't know how much BA can be expected to be drawn on this. Does Abby have a family who can help out or people to chip in to cover the costs, or someone to tag along and babysit when needed?

From Santamaria's article, this Bogut quote:

"This is a rare, one off issue that needs to be further looked at by BA and highly considered."
He wasn't so quick to be compassionate or retract when it came to Keneally's leave...

Reply #469006 | Report this post

Years ago

so if i go and adopt a baby, does that mean i can ask my employer to pay for my childcare while i go to work ????

because that ultimately is what has happening.
Abby Bishop is employed by Basketball Australia and therefore needs to find child care fo her baby, just like every other mother does that has a job !!!!

Reply #469030 | Report this post

Years ago

If you are a sandwhich artist at subway your request for paid childcare would not be accepted.

If you were an important employee in a high profile role, and the role involved a lot of international travel and high pressure situations and your skill set was unique and not easily replaceable. That request for help with a nanny might be considered if the company wanted to keep you in the business.

Reply #469039 | Report this post

Years ago

is she also expected to cook dinner every night for her husband as an Opal?

Reply #469041 | Report this post

dane suttle  
Years ago

Suppose the following players asked for the same support Abby needs, what would BA do?
Lauren Jackson
Liz Jackson
Andrew Bogut
Pat Mills
Matt Dellavedaova
Aaron Baynes
Dante Exum [in another 4 years]
Kyrie irving [if he made himself eligable]
I'm guessing we all know the answer!
A few years ago, Mick Malthouse was asked if all players at Collingwood had to follow the same off-field "rules", he admitted that he treated some players differently to others, these players are almost all gone know Buckleys coach.
What do I think? if Abby is selected to represent the Opals, then BA should give her every bit of support she needs.

Reply #469052 | Report this post

Years ago

It should be noted, though, there are already govt programs in place to give her and other elite athletes support when representing Australia.

Once an athlete is receiving that support I think that's where BA could reasonably be expected to fill gaps in cases like this, rather than bear all the cost straight up.

Reply #469059 | Report this post

Years ago

Would it be that hard to sit down with her and work together say something along the lines of:

"We can't cover all of the costs, but we are going to help you organise some sponsorship/fundraising etc because you are an important part of the team"

Reply #469077 | Report this post

Years ago

Basketball Australia receives financial support from the Australian Government and it is minimal to support not only the Opals and Boomers, Wheelchair teams and all the Junior teams

Reply #469107 | Report this post

Years ago

People saying "other women don't get childcare covered" well yes they do actually. The government funds childcare for a lot of people so they pay a portion of the bill.

It's an unusually circumstance both Abby and BA are in, and personally think BA could've fixed this issue without it really costing that much extra than normal if at all.

Reply #469130 | Report this post

Years ago

I think it's for Abby to sit down with BA and discuss this rather than run off to a journo before she's even applied for the various government funding she is eligible for.

Reply #469133 | Report this post

Years ago

Abby mentioned;

''I am pretty disappointed with the way this has been handled. The lack of support has led to the decision I won't be able to play for the Opals this year,'' Bishop said

There is obviously more to this potentially from both parties that we are not privy to. Although it sounds like there was something that put her offside with the way BA handled the situation. It also doesn't sound like the first thing she did was run off to the papers.

She made a call, appears happy with her decision and is moving on.

Reply #469142 | Report this post

Years ago

What a bunch of dumbarses BA is. Also to the poster on sub artist requesting child support. What a dickhead u are. To leave a player out like Bishop would be a national disgrace. Wake up BA.

Reply #469143 | Report this post

Years ago

I'm amazed that this story has evolved from something so simple and every-day. Pretty crafty on the part of the people who are anti-BA.

Abby is a great basketball player. Abby is a fantastic person. Abby is a great mother. But no workplace is going to hire you AND pay your childcare so that you can work, which is essentially what this is really about.

Isaac pointed it out earlier: What is BA supposed to do? If this were really about equity, then BA would be required to offer the same support for the Boomers, Rollers and Gliders at the very least. Considering how little is invested in the wheelchair teams, I just can't see how it's sustainable to make an exception here; as silly as that looks on the surface.

I understand that it's only for two weeks, but at the same time doesn't that same argument work both ways. There isn't one person in the family that could step up?

I despise BA, and still want my NBL team back on the Gold Coast. But I can't hack at them on this one. And looking at the online poll, it seems that more people feel this way than the online sentiment would have you believe.

- Brock

Reply #469346 | Report this post

Years ago

Sorry yes she's a great player, but really why should BA pay for her child adopted or otherwise, it's HER responsibility, that's what being a parent is all about. It would be doable with support from HER family which is what family us all about after all it's not long term it's short term. Bishop would be getting a wage just like any other patent and in some cases more than other parents who have to find ways to make ends meet. I think if she really wanted to go she would find a way. But another point to make is the amount of cuts across the board that BA have made , yet Joyce is being paid a ridiculous amount of money, and instead of using facilities at Canberra for training camps he's jaunting all over the state using resources BA supposedly don't have in airfares and accommodation for athletes. Maybe cut HIS spending and maybe they can pay the athletes a bit more then bishop could afford to take her baby away.

Reply #469458 | Report this post

Years ago

"People saying "other women don't get childcare covered" well yes they do actually. The government funds childcare for a lot of people so they pay a portion of the bill."

Ricey you are a clown. If Abby wants to put her child's name down for a place in a child care centre then she can have the same as anybody else. This is completely different from expecting your employer to provide or support child care.

Your argument makes no sense. Obviously you miss the point.

Reply #469460 | Report this post

Years ago

It does when the government would be the one paying her, and the government is the one subsidising the child care payments.
Why not make an attempt to subsidise it at a minimum like other people would at home when leaving the child at child care. Even if it's only for training, game and team commitments in general.
There's more to the story obviously, but for the cost to BA for 2 weeks for a once off that they could minimise or even get rid of if did things smartly, it's worth it. We should be putting the best team on the court at all costs

Reply #469505 | Report this post

Years ago

Ricey, it's only two weeks she should pay her own way, the child is not BAs responsibility, all her focus should be on basketball when away the fact they are happy for child to go should be enough.

Reply #469592 | Report this post

Years ago

Ricey, you're using the term like "once off" without acknowledging that by making an exception for Abby, BA is setting a precedent for having to do it time and time again. Pandoras box right there.

- Brock

Reply #469625 | Report this post

Years ago

Its no big loss, she is good at WNBL level but at world level she doesn't offer much if anything.

Reply #470072 | Report this post

Years ago

Its no big loss, she is good at WNBL level but at world level she doesn't offer much if anything.

Reply #470074 | Report this post

Years ago

Thanks for the update Chuck.

Reply #470108 | Report this post

Years ago

Boti does it best;

Great read.

Reply #470694 | Report this post


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