Hoop star chooses Spring Break over national tournament – a decision with long-term career implications?

Wow. Here’s one I never imagined I’d see.

King’s College women’s basketball team is traveling north this weekend to play in the NCAA Division III National Tournament Sweet 16 in Amherst, Mass. The Lady Monarchs’ leading scorer, however, opted instead to head south.

Paige Carlin, a senior forward and the sixth man off the King’s bench, left for Cancun, Mexico for spring break on Sunday, a day after King’s posted a stunning 64-63 win over William Paterson to advance to the sectional tournament in Massachusetts. Her name has since been removed from the team roster.

When I saw this story two things occurred to me immediately. The first is obvious: is this the worst teammate in history or what? We hear so much about the benefits of team sports, about the bonds that are forged, the lifelong friendships, the character building and the lessons that stick with you as you embark upon your career. Those of us who have dedicated a lot of our lives to playing team sports know that it’s not just talk, either. Not a day passes when my background in sports doesn’t help me professionally.

I find myself wondering what Paige Carlin has learned from sports, and more importantly, what lessons has she taught her teammates?

The second thing that popped into my mind: this isn’t going to help her career. Since she’s a senior coming off the bench at a D3, my best guess is that Ms. Carlin is going to be turning in pro in something other than sports. The thing is, these days hiring managers everywhere scan the net for information about prospective employees. They use Google, they use Facebook, they snoop Twitter, you name it.

91% Of Hiring Mangers Use Social Networking To Screen

In a study of 300 hiring managers and recruiters, Palo Alto-based social networking monitoring service Reppler reports that 76% of hiring managers look at applicants’ Facebook profiles. An additional 56% are looking at Twitter, and 48% check out LinkedIn – which seems ironic, considering that LinkedIn is where you’re supposed to present your professional self.

Facebook serves as an extension of your offline self, and employers want to know what kind of person they’re thinking about hiring.

Now, let’s fast-forward a few short months. I don’t know what her plans are post-graduation, but say she’s applying for a job. You get her résumé and you’re thinking, hey, this kid looks like she has some on the ball. Maybe I should call her in for an interview. Oh, wait – better Google her first. “Paige Carlin.”

Whoa. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?! Okay, never mind. Who was next on that list?

I have no idea what Ms. Carlin’s reasoning was. For all we know, if we heard her side of the story we might actually agree with her decision. But those newspaper reports don’t tell her side of the story. Those reports are going to be online for the rest of her career, too, which means that it’s entirely possible that over the next 50 years she’ll miss out on who-knows-how-many interviews, never even getting a chance to tell her side of the story because managers won’t bother bringing her in. There are 500 applicants – why waste time on somebody with this kind of red flag by her name?

Like I say, I don’t know. But I hope for her sake that Paige Carlin has a plan.

Meanwhile, best of luck to her former teammates, the King College Lady Monarchs. People you count on will let you down in life, and here’s an opportunity to learn something important about pulling together with the rest of your teammates to overcome adversity.

Thanks to Adam Bonin for tipping me to this story.

Categories: Business/Finance, Sports

7 replies »

  1. Actually, i kind of have a not so similar, yet similar story. I decided to play Rugby one of my last years of college, I did this thinking it was a few days a week, some parting and short travel. Well I was wrong, turns out the team I played on was ranked in the nation. Anyways I had already booked a hotel to Mardi Gras, and I had no idea that we would be traveling to Berkley to play in the sweet 16. I was actually at this point only eligible to play on the B side because the way the CIPP worked. Technically I was on my 5th year of college, basically once you take 1 college course, you’re in “college” even thought I took a year off. So anyways I could have spent more money to go to Cali and have this experience playing for basically nothing, or I could go crazy in NO. Well I made the right choice, the B side never played, the A side got clobbered, and there were numerous traveling and hotel issues. The NO stories are endless, and not appropriate for this thread. If I was a starter, I would have never skipped, and even though it would have been 80 minutes of ass kicking at the hands of the world class Berkley team, it would have been worth playing for a chance*. I will say this, I played a lot of team sports, had lots of great games, and I’d say that spring break was far more memorable then any moment I ever had in those sports. Of course I was never the “star” of any teams, but I was a part of some championships. It’s funny, the only thing sports taught me was that you didn’t want to be “that guy”. You know the guy who’s worse then you, but is the self appointed team motivator that everyone hates? I currently play pick up hockey with “that guy”.

    *There was no chance.

  2. As a parent of a DIv. I volleyball player (ranked #9 in the nation for attack %) this really pisses me off, but not for the reason you think.. This gal is now a “celebrity”. Some two bit player from a no no name D III college will turn all this into $$$. Just wait, she will soon be wined and dined to be on morning TV shows.. Maybe a photo spread as the “basket ball b–ch”. Move over Snooky.

  3. I’d hire her for correctly assessing her pro prospects and not getting blinded by her star power. Only 1% of an entertainment production’s personnel is “actor”. The rest must make sane decisions based on factors other than ego.

    • Before I hired her I’d need to overcome what this says about her commitment. I don’t expect eternal loyalty to the company (hell, that wold make you an idiot) but I need to know I can count on you living up to the promises you make.

  4. Trish, lighten up. OK, so you envy Paige her moment in the sun, she probably envies your daughter the extra 4 inches in height she has, since that tends to be the major difference in D1 and D3 athletes. If your daughter wanted to go to a D3 school, she could have been the star, done the same stunt and gotten the same publicity. Stop being obnoxious.

    Sam, more importantly. Why is the leading scorer coming off the bench?

  5. as a member of the king’s college lady monarchs basketball team i can tell you that her side of the story has nothing to it. she blames quitting on our coach, but we all know she wouldn’t have “quit” if she didn’t have this mexico trip planned. if she really had a problem with our coach she would have quit at the end of last season like she talked about all year. she’s selfish and shallow.

    the story that “indicated her minutes has dropped a lot later in the season” is referring to our regional tournament games. the coaches knew she had a trip planned and she was dumb enough to talk about how she wished we would stop winning. she played like shit against suny-oneonta and it was a little obvious why. i don’t blame the coaches for only playing her 10 minutes in our win over william patterson. she didn’t want to win and it was known. no one knew she actually decided to go to cancun until she was already there.