UAAP residency rule ‘good’ for UST, says university exec
MANILA, Philippines — As early as second year in high school, the junior athletes of University of Santo Tomas are getting recruitment letters and being courted by other schools.
This is why, Fr. Ermito De Sagon O.P., Institute of Physical Education and Athletics (IPEA) director member, said UST would actually benefit from the amended residency rule.
From one year, a high school student now needs to sit out two years when enrolling in another UAAP member school in college.
“The new rule is good for us. They have been taking our athletes away,” De Sagon told the reporters after the closing ceremonies on Saturday.
“Actually yung iba nasa second year palang sinisulatan na sila eh. Like our girls now in [UST] volleyball,” De Sagon shared.
UAAP said this rule aims to protect one school’s juniors program.
UST has always had a stellar athletic program in high school, and it has a fourth straight UAAP juniors overall championship to show for it.
But not all of these noted athletes go on to play for UST in the seniors’ division. De Sagon, though, knows though that there is only so much they can do.
“We’re trying to keep them. But as usual, we cannot force them to stay with us,” said De Sagon.
The first step in building a good athletic program starts with recruitment, which is getting real competitive these days in the league.
But De Sagon says UST has no plans of dangling money or signing bonuses to athletes to sway them to enroll in UST.
“We pursue our policy of amateurism. Ayaw nating magbayad ng mga athletes para maglaro sa’tin [We don’t like to pay athletes to play for us],” said De Sagon.
“Hindi tayo makikipagsabay [We are not going to compete that way]. Importante ang value formation [Value formation is important]. We’re not going to destroy our value systems even if we want to be champions.”
“It’s not winning at all cost. We want to win, we want to win the championship honestly and focusing on our core values,” De Sagon added.
This year, UST lost its longtime hold of the UAAP seniors division general championship to La Salle after an unprecedented 14 straight seasons.
A lot of UST teams, especially in the second conference, had a significant dip in their placing, and De Sagon admits, “hindi nakafocus ng maayos [they weren’t focused properly].”
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