The untold story of Dike’s bonus turn down, By Mansur Abubakar

Apart from Stephen Keshi’s return as the Super Eagles manager and the official inauguration of the Akwa Ibom international stadium, the most discussed sporting issue in recent times has been Falconets star, Courtney Dike’s turning down her N1.2 million bonus for the part she played in Nigeria U20 Women achievement at the World Cup in Canada.

Many hailed Dike for putting country above personal gains and for being the first in history to refuse collecting the traditional bonuses doled out after every sporting feat, while, some were skeptical about the whole situation,sensing there was more to the story than what Dike’s family and the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, were telling the public.

Well, according to the girl’s family, it was a thing of honour and pride for Courtney to have represented her fatherland and money was the last thing on their minds when they granted the 17 year old Accounting student of Oklahoma State University permission to team up with the Falconets for the World Cup.

The NFF competitions Director, Sanusi Abubakar, in an interview with Sports Radio, said he had never seen anything like that before and others should emulate the young lady.

“I have never, I repeat never seen something like this before. In fact, when she turned down the money, we went ahead and called her mother who said their daughter had their permission to turn down the bonuses because she was elated to represent her country and felt there’s no reason to be paid afterwards,” he said.

Experienced sports journalist and CAF Media instructor, Paul Bassey, in his Complete Sports column called on President Goodluck Jonathan to honour the OKC FC forward’s father with a national medal for instilling discipline in his daughter in today’s world that is filled with selfish motives.

“In a country where we are fast running short of heroes, Mr. Dike deserves a national honour for inculcating in his daughter the lasting spirit of patriotism… What you can do for your country!” Bassey opined.

The two issues I would like to point out here are, if truly Dike’s family asked their daughter to turn down the monies out of patriotism and immense love for country why then has her elder brother, Bright Dike, who has been playing for the Eagles since November 11, 2012 (when he first appeared against Venezuela) not been asked to do the same by the family.

The second contention is, as an amateur athlete on a scholarship, it would be a violation for her to have accepted the bonus because according to the rules governing the National Collegiate Athletics Association, NCAA, in the United States, young athletes are not supposed to be paid “salary for participating in athletics” neither are they allowed to be paid “prize money above actual and necessary expenses” among many other rules on the NCAA website.

If she had accepted the bonus, she would have had bigger issues like losing her almost $35,000 annual scholarship which enables her to attend the Oklahoma State University and play for the Cowgirls.

As for the NFF, they keep pushing up this story in order to silence players that have always fought to be paid their monies already allocated by the government, which, if not collected by the athletes, would end up in some pockets elsewhere.

It is a good thing to put country first above any personal gain but when there’s another side to the story, people deserve to hear it.


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  • DAT

    Please keep your other side of the story to yourself as we are not interested in the other side of the story. You are one of the people that do not see good in what people do that deserves commendation. I am not surprised, the fact that you can not do such a good thing does not mean others can not do it.

    • Wale

      You are a true Nigerian. Blind to reason. Too lazy to think objectively. And always ready to use the word ‘we’ when only expressing personal opinion. Well talk for yourself because if only for the purpose of intellectual discussion and objectivity, some of us want to hear the whole story.

      • Samuel

        Wale you are the true Nigerian who never sees anything good in what others do. Out to bring your neighbor down at every opportunity and that explains why we remain where we are as a nation.

  • Meldrick

    keep quiet abeg. People like you are always good at spoiling others. Keep your other side of the story. She is not as hungry as you are.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    There’s nothing anybody deserves to hear; and this writer has not said anything new. What is his game? I see that this writer has a hidden agenda which, of course, he failed to hide in his writeup as it was darting and hollering all over the script. I wonder when Nigerians should stop bellyaching when a citizen not from their own part of the country does something remarkable. The argument he made about Bright Dike to debunk all the encomiums passed on Courtney is quite baseless. We are talking about what Courtney did and not what Bright did. Yes, the parents of these two siblings could have given the same piece of advice to both siblings; but only Courtney could have heeded the advice to do what she had done. Does that diminish the praise showered on the parents of these two siblings? There are many Nigerians and Nigerian youths who could have used beguiling means to accept that money in spite of the rules against a scholarship holder accepting such money. That Courtney played by the rules was very remarkable. Mansur must learn to acknowledge this. And this is the crux and kernel of the story. Mansur must learn to write from an objective perspective.

    • Enemona

      Don’t tribalize this issue, the writer was clear in his writing. He has only pointed out a point we ought to know. If she wasn’t allowed to get paid due to her status as a scholarship holder then she has to come out and state it clearly.

      Do not shoot the messenger!

  • Olu Ade

    Yes, there is a USA regulation on collegiate athletes not taking salary but that does not extend to the Nigerian football bonus that mostly count as gifts after the tournament. #1.2M is just about $6,600 and is like a chicken change that can not be called salary for athletes here in the US.

    The author of this story shot himself in the leg by mis-interpreting the regulation. He said, “…neither are they allowed to be paid “prize money above actual and necessary expenses” among many other rules on the NCAA website.” Please note that the cost of her flight ticket and stay in Nigeria may be close to or more the bonus and pass as “the necessary expenses.”

    What is important here is Dike’s Patriotism (and role model to others), which is lacking in many Nigerians. On the other hand, may be Courtney Dike could have accepted the bonus and donate it to Motherless babies homes or the less privilege because who knows if the money has ended up in the pockets of our scrambling hawks and rogues in govt or football administration.

  • shamsudeen sadiq

    Some Nigerians and their petty attitude to life,instead of adding your voice to the cacophony of applause that the girl’s actions is generating worldwide and helping in teaching our young ones values you are here trying to denigrade and abuse people’s minds.Allah will save this country from the stranglehold of the APC on the media in Nigeria