Controversy-free UAAP Season 77 eyed
MANILA, Philippines — Hoping for a smoother run, the UAAP plans to tackle some of its contentious rules before Season 77 of the country’s premier collegiate league unfolds on July 12.
The UAAP Board is set to meet in April to discuss, among others, the controversial players’ residency rule, the policy on foreign players and changes in the sports calendar.
New president Carmelita Mateo of host University of the East said during the hosting turnover ceremony on Wednesday night that the league looks forward to a year “without any controversies.”
“We’re revisiting a lot of the rules,” said Ricky Palou, Ateneo’s representative to the UAAP Board. “We also heard that Sen. Pia Cayetano has filed a bill in the Senate, a Magna Carta for Student-Athletes.”
Cayetano filed House Bill 2166 last week that aims to protect student-athletes “from any discriminatory policy that may restrict their participation in any field of amateur sports.”
Last year, Cayetano summoned the league board to a hearing to discuss the two-year residency rule, which requires UAAP high school players transferring to a member-school for college to sit out for two years.
University of the Philippines’ rookie swimmer Mikee Bartolome, who competed for University of Santo Tomas in high school, also went to the courts last season and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that stopped the league from implementing the rule.
Meanwhile, the league is proposing a juniors calendar separate from the seniors basketball and volleyball competitions.
The planned schedule will have the seniors basketball played in the first semester (July to October) and the juniors in the second (November to March), while juniors volleyball will be played first and the seniors event in the second semester.
“We’re finalizing some rule changes, but we’ll talk about it in the annual board meeting,” said league secretary treasurer Rod Roque.
In basketball, Roque said local cage legend and UE alumnus Robert Jaworski is among the 12 candidates for commissioner this season along with Joe Lipa, Noli Eala, Chino Trinidad, Bong Ramos, Bai Cristobal and Tito Varela.
“These are some of the names suggested, we’ll be coming up with a short list,” said Roque.