Highlights of the PCU Investigation

20 06 2007

THE Management Committee of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has finally ordered an investigation on the alleged ineligibility status of some athletes of the Philippine Christian University.

Henry Atayde, the outgoing NCAA Management Committee chairman, said the investigation will last two weeks. Dean Fernando Lozano of Mapua Institute of Technology and Mike Del Mundo of University of Perpetual Help-Delta System will be the respective head of two committees formed for the probe.

“To protect the image of the NCAA and PCU, we at the NCAA have decided to make our own investigation despite the absence of a formal complaint,” said Atayde during the NCAA turnover ceremony yesterday at the CSB Hotel in Manila .

The turnover ceremony saw College of Saint Benilde transfer the mantle of responsibility to 83rd season host Jose Rizal University. PCU athletic representative Alfredo Olano said he welcomed an investigation anytime.

“I’m confident that we did not violate anything, particularly the age-ruling, so we’re ready for the probe,” Olano said.

The age requirement for high school athletes is 18-and-below while senior athletes is 25-and-below. Atayde said there were reports last week that some athletes from the PCU allegedly committed age-cheating in track and field, junior basketball and senior basketball.

But for the protection of the athletes, Atayde did not mention the name of the athletes.

“Even if the eligibility allegations just came from text messages, we still need to make an investigation to clear everything,” said the College of Saint Benilde athletic director. “Of course I cannot divulge the names of the athletes because it’s unfair to them.”

A news report claimed that 2004 Rookie-MVP winner Gabby Espinas, now playing in the PBA for San Miguel Beer, was the one involved in the alleged age-cheating fiasco.

Espinas, however, denied the reports, saying it is “all gossip.”

Atayde said if PCU athletes are proven guilty, they will be barred from playing in any school and the points that they gained would be considered void. The eligibility of the athletes can be contested anytime, according to NCAA eligibility ruling section 1.21.

“Not only are athletes barred forever but also the coach,” said Atayde. “The school must also return the trophy.”

PCU REMAINED SILENT

Philippine Christian University has decided to remain silent in the wake of a report confirming that one of its junior basketball players is guilty of identity switching. PCU Athletic Director Alfredo Olano has refused to grant interviews after the NCAA decided the other day to strip PCU’s junior basketball squad of its runner-up trophy.

Olano said the results of PCU’s own investigation of the matter will be known on April 10. “We’re not going to talk regarding the decision of the NCAA because our own investigation is not yet through,” said Olano. “We will advise you of our own decision based on the results of our own probe after the Holy Week.”

The NCAA Management Committee has ordered PCU, the NCAA overall champion last year, to return the junior basketball first runner-up trophy after the two fact-finding committees discovered that one of the Baby Dolphins – Jaypee Importante – was guilty of identity switching.

San Beda College is now considered the junior division’s first runner up after all the games of the PCU had been forfeited.

After reviewing the report of the PCU, the NCAA Management Committee will come up with another decision on whether or not the PCU would absorb a penalty.

BABY DOLPHIN FOUND OF IDENTITY SWITCHING

THE final result of the investigation made separately by the Philippine Christian University confirmed earlier finding that its junior basketball player Jaypee Importante guilty of identity switching.

PCU submitted yesterday the school’s final report that affirmed the first report of the NCAA fact-finding committee where they discovered that Importante had switched identity with another person to be able to play last year.

“PCU confirmed us during the meeting in JRU ( Jose Rizal University ) that we were right,” said investigation panel head Henry Atayde of College of Saint Benilde . “Their report and the early report of the two committees are just the same.”

He said PCU official Alfredo Olano handed them the NSO, Form 1-37 and the scholastic records of their junior players including Importante for verification.

According to the report of PCU, Importante had switched his original age 19 to a 16-year-old person to allow him eligible in the juniors division.

They also found out that the person who used the name Jaypee Importante was not actually his name. But Atayde refused to divulge his true name.

Atayde also said Baby Dolphins head coach Bong Sales had sent an affidavit to the meeting attesting that he accepted the documents of Importante among others last season. But the coach denied any involvement in the fiasco.

PCU has promised the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Management Committee to return the first runner-up trophy next week. The two special fact-finding committees have proven Importante guilty of identity switching after a series of investigation.

But the members of the Policy Board, on the other hand, agreed not to impose any immediate punishment to the PCU. Atayde said the Management Committee will wait first for PCU to make its own move. – Josef T. Ramos

PCU A NO-SHOW IN PROBE

THE Management Committee of the National Athletic Association (NCAA) said yesterday it was disappointed over the no-show of the Philippine Christian University in yesterday’s meeting at the Jose Rizal University.

The meeting was tabled to resolve the alleged identity-switching committed by a player of PCU in the last NCAA basketball junior tournament.

College of Saint Benilde representative Henry Atayde, the head of the investigation panel, said PCU Athletic Director Alfredo Olano did not show up due allegedly due to an illness. “He just informed Management Committee Chairman Paul Supan through a text message that he could not attend the meeting,” Atayde told http://www.inboundpass.com

Aside from Atayde and Supan, Policy Board Chairman Vincent Fabella, Father Vic Calvo (Letran College), Dean Fernando Lozano (Mapua), Mike Del Mundo (Perpetual University), Frank Gusi (San Sebastian College) and Father Paul De Vera (San Beda College) were also present in yesterday’s meeting.

PCU, Atayde said, has asked for another one-week extension to pass its final report and findings on the cheating issue—also through a text message to Supan. The Management Committee denied the request. “That’s too much,” said Atayde. “In our meeting last week, Olano requested for a one-week extension to give them time to prepare for their own reports and findings.”

Atayde said that if Olano or a PCU representative will not arrive on Friday, April 20, in the rescheduled meeting, the Management Committee will impose a severe punishment on PCU. An official said PCU might face a one-year suspension on all sports in the NCAA’s next season.

“The PCU report is vital in that meeting because the Policy Board would come up with a final decision regarding the involvement of PCU in the identity-switching fiasco,” said Atayde.

The Management Committee has found that PCU junior basketball player Jaypee Importante was guilty of identity-switching in the last NCAA season. Before imposing the final penalty on PCU, the Management Committee first wants to hear the side of the PCU.

PCU NO COMMENT ON DEADLINE

PHILIPPINE Christian University Athletic Director Alfredo Olano kept his silence in today’s deadline imposed by the NCA management committee for the school to submit its final reports on the case of basketball player Jaypee Importante.

Olano yesterday said that the school management will release its statement in the proper time, adding that PCU was about to finish its own investigation on the case of Importante who was found guilty of identity switching to be able to play for the Baby Dolphins in the recent NCAA basketball tournament.

The management committee denied the request of PCU for another one-week extension. It instead gave the school until April 20 to submit its reports or suffer the consequences.

One NCAA official, who requested anonymity, said PCU stands a maximum penalty of expulsion from the country’s oldest collegiate league or a one-year suspension in all events of the coming 83rd NCAA season.

Olano said Importante had already dropped all his subjects last January, making it very difficult to dig deeper into his case

PCU SLAPPED WITH A 1-YEAR SUSPENSION

THE Policy Board of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has suspended the Philippine Christian University (PCU) for one-year in all NCAA events after PCU high school basketball squad was found guilty of identity switching.

Policy Board President Vincent Fabella, the president of host Jose Rizal University , said in a statement yesterday that “the Policy Board unanimously decided to suspend PCU effective immediately in the coming NCAA 83rd season.”

The meeting at JRU was attended by the eight NCAA representatives, including PCU Athletic Director Alfredo Olano.

According to the statement, “the findings of both the inquiry of NCAA Management Committee and the investigation of PCU have proven that there was indeed identity switching. The policy board considered the findings as a grave violation of the core objectives of the NCAA.”

The Policy Board also upheld the recommendations of the Management Committee to forfeit all the games of the Baby Dolphins in the last NCAA season, return their runner-up trophy together with individual awards and ban the player involved from future participation in the NCAA.

Said Fabella: “The board wishes to stress that all member-schools of the NCAA have much to learn from this experience and that the board decision should not be interpreted as singling out of PCU. The board believes that institutional responsibility is important in the NCAA, hence its decision.”

Henry Atayde, representing the College of Saint Benilde , the head of the investigation panel, had found out that Baby Dolphin 6-foot-2 Jaypee Importante switched identity with another person last year and played for the PCU junior basketball team.

PCU’S COACHING STAFF DISMISSED

ALFREDO Olano, the athletic director of Philippine Christian University, said that he had dismissed the entire PCU high school coaching staff headed by Bong Sales.

This was an offshoot of the one-year suspension imposed on PCU effective this year by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) after PCU was found guilty of fielding in an ineligible high school basketball player during the last NCAA season.

Baby Dolphin Jaypee Importante had used his cousin’s record to gain an illegal entry into the 82nd season of the NCAA.

“We have no objection to the decision as we found out that our junior player was ineligible to play last season,” said Olano. “But our school is not yet through with its investigation regarding the people involved.”

In a statement, PCU president Dr. Oscar Suarez said: “Due to some erring persons and athletes, PCU, as an NCAA member-institution, was gravely affected. PCU has humbly accepted the NCAA Policy Board decision.”

The NCAA will still continue with its inquiry on three other players suspected of having committed the same offense—identity switching. The three, according to NCAA official Henry Atayde, are Victor Miguel Oliveros and brothers James and Cesar Degano.

PCU POST-SUSPENSION

A day after receiving its one-year suspension notice, the Philippine Christian University has accepted its fate – not playing in the entire events of the coming 83rd NCAA season – for now.

PCU Athletic Director Alfredo Olano informed inboundpass.com that he and PCU President Doctor Oscar Suarez have accepted the suspension meted by the NCAA Policy Board for now.

The final findings of the PCU and the NCAA Management Committee two weeks ago had proven Baby Dolphins standout Jaypee Importante switched identity with other person to make him eligible to play last season.

PCU officials denied having prior knowledge of having ineligible players in their roster.

“We have no objection during the meeting because we both found out that our junior player was ineligible to play last season,” said Olano. “But our school is not yet through with its investigation regarding the people involved.”

“Even we respect the decision of the Policy Board, we need to find out who are responsible for this,” he said. “Then, let’s see if we can appeal to lessen the punishment.”

But NCAA Policy Board President Dr. Vincent Fabella of host Jose Rizal University has no plan to reverse its decision due to the weight of evidences that they obtained from the investigation panel headed by College of Saint Benilde representative Henry Atayde.

Olano also said he already dismissed the entire high school coaching staff headed by Bong Sales.

PCU president Dr. Oscar Suarez, said in a statement, admitted his school is gravely affected by the suspension. “Due to some erring persons and athletes, PCU, as an NCAA member-institution was gravely affected.”

The suspension, he said, “is a lesson learned for us and be an eye-opener to other NCAA member-schools that might fall prey to this situation in the process of recruiting players with questionable eligibility particularly from the province.” PCU, Suarez said, has humbly accepted the NCAA policy board decision.

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