Ateneo’s prized basketball recruit won’t see action yet as the UAAP Board voted to uphold yesterday the new residency rule that requires high school players transferring to a member school for college to sit it out for two years.
The new rule takes effect in Season 76, starting this June, leaving Jerie Pingoy—the former Far Eastern University juniors star who moved to Ateneo—to wait until 2015 before he can showcase his wares in the men’s basketball tournament.
But following the vote, the board agreed to add several clauses “to soften up” the controversial rule, which became the subject of a Senate hearing two weeks ago.
“We’re going to finalize the guidelines this month,” UAAP president Nilo Ocampo told the Inquirer after the board meeting yesterday. “Majority of the members are now open to suggestions to soften up the rule.”
Another UAAP official said among the guidelines being studied is the “release clause,” where an athlete may not be required to serve a two-year residency if his high school allows him to transfer to a member-school for college.
“The Board is working on the explanatory rules on the application of the said residency requirement,” the UAAP said in a statement.
The league placed the new residency requirement—which covers all sports—under a vote anew after Sen. Pia Cayetano summoned the UAAP board to a hearing. She described the rule as an “unreasonable limit on an athlete’s freedom of choice and academic freedom to decide which college to enter into.”
Cayetano had said she intends to “explore legal options” if the league implements the rule this season.