CHICAGO - When the UAAP and the IATF came knocking to inquire about allegations of an illegal bubble in Sorsogon. Aldin Ayo couldn't be bothered for a response.
Four-letter acronyms didn't seem to intimidate the celebrated champion coach.
But after weeks of silence, impervious to the backlash that drowned his employers in the toxic well of social media, the embattled Ayo abruptly resigned his position last Friday.
Was this a light bulb moment where a repentant Catholic finally realized the error of his ways and decided to evict the guilt squatting in his conscience?
Alpha males like Ayo make little, if any, accommodations for humility.
I think Ayo folded like an accordion the moment he found out that the dreaded three-letter acronyms of the DOJ and the NBI might take over the lagging probe.
Unlike the UAAP and the IATF, two bodies which do not necessarily have the will and wherewithal to dive deep into the busted bubble, the DOJ doesn't fool around and it wields unlimited resources to secure an indictment.
The DOJ also has subpoena powers and those whom it summons do not have the convenient option to "politely decline."
And if you lie under oath to the NBI you go to jail for perjury quicker than a 3-on-1 fastbreak.
Aware that disgruntled players have already squealed about the secret assembly, Ayo must have understood that sooner or later the government investigators will uncover the whole truth.
THE JIG WAS UP. IT WAS TIME TO SING.
"I deeply apologize to all those who have been adversely affected by our activity and unnecessarily exposed to much condemnation especially the university. I take responsibility for my actions and shall face the appropriate sanctions," Ayo said in a prepared statement.
Word from the grapevine was that Ayo would beat this rap using UST as the getaway car with the UAAP acting as the lookout.
Those rumors appear to be unfounded and I feel awful for irresponsibly entertaining the idea that the University of Santo Tomas would cuddle and harbor a potential wrongdoer.
UST cut ties with Ayo not for lack of affinity, loyalty, and gratitude.
The school had no choice but to sever the cord because UST has a bigger obligation to maintain the sparkle of its pristine name and to uphold the cherished moral values of the Dominican way.
I am torn between two emotions as I process the thought that a good family man had just lost his job.
On one hand I am heartbroken that Ayo, hopefully temporarily, couldn't do what he was born to do.
But I am also furious that he took more than a full timeout to admit that something was foul all along.
I don't know if it was the money, the power, the fame. or all of the above. But all the glitter probably entitled Ayo to arrogantly believe that he was somehow above the rules.
Of course, he is not. No one is.
The sordid, salacious details which eventually led to Ayo's stunning and embarrassing fall from grace reminds me of a classic Sharon Cuneta movie line.
"Bukas luluhod ang mga tala."
I pray that the brief and besieged pit stop at UST will not be a career tombstone for Aldin V. Ayo. It should only be a painful marker where his mighty sword once fell.
We all make mistakes. We all deserve another chance.