Last week’s shocking revelation by Barbados TODAY of the Barbados Cricket Association’s (BCA) chief executive officer Jefferson Miller’s recent conviction for grand theft in the United States has left a lot of egg on some prominent people’s faces. Foremost among these would be Mr Miller himself and members of the current board of the BCA, who may never live down this latest public embarrassment.
By Mr Miller’s own admission to us last week, he had never informed his employers that he was a convicted felon, even though the sentence was handed down less than a month before he took over the island’s top cricket administrative post.
What’s more, Mr Miller also neglected to inform the BCA president Joel Garner and the rest of the 14-member board that he remained bonded to the court system in Miami and that he should really be resident in Miami for at least the first two years of his 12-year non-custodial sentence which was handed down in May.
Absolutely stunning to say the least! But perhaps what is most remarkable about the entire BCA fiasco is that Mr Miller somehow felt that he could maintain his high profile position in Barbados without being found out or ever having to own up to this most egregious mistake.
How wrong was he! And how careless was the BCA board and its professional recruitment agency to have confirmed him in the post of CEO having not been armed with even a certificate of character from Miami where he spent the last 37 years of his life.
Ironically, Miller was allowed to walk into Barbados and climb up the BCA steps with less police documentation than any Guyanese maid and without solid reference to his record of behaviour since 2009, when his legal troubles began.
Yes, some provision must be made for the fact that he is a born and bred Barbadian, and that he had an enviable record in his early days as a fiery fast bowler who went on to serve as president of the South Florida Cricket Alliance (SFCA) before he was inducted into the Hartford Cricket Hall of Fame back in September 2008.
But his cricket record alone would suffice were it that he was being recruited to conduct a six-week training camp for the BCA, but not for the job of CEO.
Certainly, anyone in that position wields a lot of power and carries a tremendous responsibility; therefore there needs to be the requisite amount of scrutiny.
At this stage, we are not in a position to say as former board member Gregory Nicholls has done, that absolutely no due diligence was carried out before Miller’s confirmation. We can only hope that on this occasion, the goodly attorney has got his argument wrong as well as his two other damning contentions that Mr Miller was not initially shortlisted for the job and that his confirmation interview took place on Skype. We will await the president’s statement on those matters.
But suffice it to say, this doesn’t look good for either Miller or the BCA board at this stage.
It is not to say that administrative blunders do not occur from time to time but this is a rather costly error that has brought the entire leadership of the BCA into disrepute and puts lie to its boast of over 120 years of organized cricket.
As Miller makes his long and difficult walk back to the pavilion for what could be the final time as BCA head this week, he is not the only one who needs be reminded that whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)
For the sake of this island’s cricket we can only hope that the BCA will no sooner get its house in order.