Player Piracy Rule in UAAP?

28 05 2007

On May 22, 2007, the UAAP Board voted 4-2 a new eligibility rule for this year’s incoming college freshmen that would require high school players from UAAP schools to sit out one year of residency if they decided to play for a rival UAAP school without securing a release from the first school. And starting Season 71 (in 2008), freshmen student-atletes will automatically red shirt their first year if they take this route. Apparently, this ruling came about to stop the alleged “piracy” of high school players by the rival schools in the league.

It was mentioned in other website forums (hey, this news may be 6 days old, but in the web, it seems like 4 years old already!) this ruling was a brainchild of FEU’s Anton Montinola, who in the past UAAP season saw his basketball team’s fortune turn from gold to garbage with former coach Bert Flores disbanding the team. In an attempt to revive his college team, he now turns to his high school team (FEU-FERN) for fresh talent.

As 2006 came to a close, a number of players from FEU-FERN came to UP on their own to try out for the Men’s Basketball Team. One of them was Mark Lopez, a blue chip player and a member of UAAP Season 69 mythical team in the juniors division. It turned out that Lopez, along with a couple of junior players from FEU-FERN were intended by the school’s management become future Tamaraws. To protects its “interests”, FEU officials forged an agreement with their counterparts from UP to prevent the exodus of their junior players to Diliman. Lopez was able to secure the release of his high school papers after securing “permission” from FEU officials and settling a P15,000 fee. Two other players from FEU-FERN who tried out and got into the Maroons’ team wern’t assessed any amount.

Early this year, another FEU-FERN blue chip and fellow mythical teammate, 6’4″ Soc Rivera, went to UP, also on his own, to try out for the Maroons. With the agreement in place, the Maroons coaching staff advised Rivera to secure his release from his high school. After a couple of months, Rivera was a no-show in the UP facilities although there were words, especially from his FEU-FERN teammates that he really wanted to play for UP. Finaly this summer he showed up in UP to join the Maroons, in the premise that he already settled what was percieved to be personal matters with FEU, and that he has graduated already from his high school. FEU let go of Rivera, but before Rivera can get hold of his high school documents, he will have to pay P116,000 since his high school scholarship was revoked. And then the UAAP Board this resolution now known as the “Soc Rivera” rule.

Which brings me to these questions: What hold does FEU have over Rivera and Lopez that they demanded fee from these kids so that they can secure their high school papers? Why then the two other players from FEU-FERN spared from such assessment? During the course of their scholarship, isn’t it the responsibility and obligation of the student-athlete to study, pass their subjects while playing for the school and give honor to the school? Isn’t it the school’s responsibility and obligation to provide proper education to these student-athletes, and also provide the necessary papers for enrollment in college? Isn’t it the right of every high school student to go to the university of his choice? How did Montinola manage to convince the UAAP Board to pass a resolution he himself junked a few years back? Whose interest was Montinola representing when he, along with some UAAP members, junked the same resolution years back? Now that he lost some of his juniors players to another school, whose interest was he representing when he asked the Board for the rule’s passage?

Unless we hear from Montinola, FEU and the UAAP Board, more questions will surface. This will also be detrimental in the coming season and to the league as a whole. Abangan ang mga kaganapan…




3 responses

28 05 2007
UP stud

Montinola junked the same resolution few years ago? Gosh! And now?!? Grrr…

29 05 2007

If there’s one school who should have cried “piracy” for the longest time, it should be San Beda.

Despite all the heartbreaks, Bedans are still proud of their brothers who went to GREENER pastures and BLUER skies.

Heck, HS kids from the NCAA are exempted from the rule? This is garbage.

UP and Ateneo voted against the rule. La Salle would have done the same. How about the rest of the freaking UAAP schools?

Anton Montinola and your cohorts in the UAAP Board, give the UAAP a break.

Shame on you!

4 06 2007
Tom Ong

Dear Kim,

Greetings. It’s been a beautiful privilege to visit inboundpass website. Thank you for your cordial invitation among your fellow Celtics friends here. More power to you, Tony, and the people who made this site possible for every basketball loving people.

Cheers and best regards.

Tom Ong

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