Thursday, 18 April 2013 4,473 Views / 42 Comments
In the past few years, friends and acquaintances argued with me on which basketball league is the best.
Many favor the UAAP because of its high quality of basketball and a gazillion other attractions. To a certain extent, I agree. But for me, some of the decisions that the UAAP has made in recent times have tarnished it, at least for the time being.
Officiating has been a constant UAAP problem, as have, and maybe more so, questionable verdicts on issues involving certain players, plays, and regulations.
Most of those who give a hoot about the goings-on in college/university basketball have shared their thoughts on the latest issue – the two-year ban on “transferees” (the rule) – and I will throw out some ideas as well on the matter.
To put it simply, I do not like it. There used to be a one-year ban, and now it is two years. Either way, I think it stinks.
Parity – that’s the word that people in support of the ban like to use to justify the rule. Investment – that’s another word that schools have used to defend their position in voting “aye” for the rule. Ridiculous – that’s the word I use against them.
I agree with everyone who has opposed the rule, including Senadora Pia Cayetano, who even bothered to hold a hearing on the rule because she believes that the proponents of said rule are missing the point.
Unfortunately, these proponents, except for one, declined the invitation of the good Senadora to participate in the discussion.
Former PBA referee Vic Bartolome, who testified on behalf of his daughters, both swimmers who may be affected by the rule, is a friend of mine, and I feel his disappointment.
There have been so many arguments thrown into the conversation, and many are valid, especially those from persons who oppose the rule.
I need not discuss them one by one here, but I must declare that the right to choose what university to attend is something that a high school graduate should not be deprived of, whether or not he or she is an athlete.
If one is indeed an athlete and desires to play his or her desired sport in university, then that should be part and parcel of passing the entrance exam and surviving the tryouts (if required) or being “recruited.” To say that playing the sport in university is “not a right, but merely a privilege” is highly irresponsible and arrogant.
If you qualify to study at the particular university, and, in connection with that, make the team as well, then you should be able to play, and play immediately.
Take note that I advocate for the abolition of the ban, but likewise espouse stringent rules for athletes entering university from whichever high school. The athlete must pass the entrance exam and must maintain a good academic standing, as well as perform in his sport within the parameters or guidelines set by his coaching staff, to remain a student-athlete.
One of the most meaningful statements came from a law school classmate of mine, who is very much against the rule. Via Twitter, he said that those who proposed, passed, or support the rule are doing so on the wrong premise.
How can they consider going from high school to university a “transfer”, when after you graduate from high school, you should be free to choose your own university or college? Good point, Atty Aquino (no relation to the President). I agree. The fact that you have to take an entrance exam to move up to university shows that it’s a different entity altogether – there is no guaranteed continuity.
The rule exhibits a level of compulsion that, to many, is unacceptable. I pity those who choose to attend a university with a different name from their high school since they have to sit out two years. But, I also pity those who “stay” with their school for university, since they may not really want to be there anyway. They just want to be able to play immediately.
In the latest post on her website (senatorpiacayetano.com), Senator Cayetano manifested her disappointment that, despite the hearing she chaired on 01 April 2013, the UAAP Board still chose to uphold its decision to implement the rule immediately. She believes that the rule “denies athletes of their rights to develop their full potential and is an unreasonable limitation on an athlete’s freedom of choice as well as academic freedom to choose which [university] to enter into.”
She further stated that students “must be given the choice of which school they think will maximize their skills and prepare them best for their future.”
Senator Cayetano ended by saying that she “will continue to fight” and “will not hesitate to take this issue to court.”
This last statement is important, because, while the Senate is actually powerless to do anything about the rule since the hearing it conducted is merely “in aid of legislation”, or with the view of making laws to address the problem, if any, the courts can actually do something if indeed certain rights are being trampled upon by the said rule.
I have wondered out loud to friends in the sportswriting circle why affected parties have not gone to the powers that be, those who regulate universities (CHED?), or to the courts for a determination of whether basic freedoms are being curtailed with the implementation of the rule. This could get very interesting, and I hope it does.
The UAAP Board said that it will still issue guidelines/implementing rules. What can these implementing rules possibly do to change the situation? Will there be exceptions to the ban? Are clarifications necessary? Hopefully something good comes out when the implementing rules are issued, but as it is right now, the rule is in place and will be implemented already.
Everyone who “transferred” this summer, sorry, you cannot play in the UAAP, the supposed “best league”, for two years.
I’m sure the fans will still watch the UAAP games, especially in basketball, this coming season. The venues will be filled, especially when Ateneo and La Salle go at it.
But, there will be many would be student-athletes who will just be sitting at home, or maybe attending the games in person if they can stand it, who will have to content themselves with just cheering for their “new” school, because they are banned from playing in the UAAP events for two whole years. Yan ba ang “the best”?