Thursday, September 05, 2013

Fair Play: After TRO, a TKO for two-year residency rule?

(This column appears in the Sept. 5 issue of Sun.Star Cebu)
A FEW days ago, I wrote about how one athlete in the UAAP has filed for a TRO against the league and her former school, UST, so she could compete in the swimming event and not be subjected to the idiotic two-year residency rule for freshmen of the Manila league.

The court granted her request, giving her a TRO good for 20 days, and allowing her to compete this year as a freshman.



This is good news to high school athletes as the UAAP thinks incoming freshmen are transferees and must comply with their residency rule.  If no one fought this, an incoming high school freshman, who is an athlete, must also think of his college degree when he or she chooses his high school, if he doesn’t want to sit out two years.

That’s what make this whole thing ridiculous, a league for some of Manila’s best schools is robbing a child the freedom to choose his or her school.

Why?

All for the love of sport.

Aside from the TRO, the Quezon City court is also set to hear both camps’ take on the two-year residency rule and I hope that rule gets repealed, forever.

Since I am not a legal expert like fellow columnists Jingo Quijano and Frank Malilong, I wonder what would this mean for Cesafi, which also has its own version of the residency rule, copied from the UAAP?

Will this force Cesafi to also abandon the rule?

I hope so because from its original intent to prevent player piracy, the Cesafi has been reduced to a stumbling block to one student’s return to the league.  And I’m talking about the case of Scott Aying, who is a transferee from San Beda to San Carlos but is being treated as if he’s a transferee from Don Bosco.

Without the residency rule, how then will schools prevent piracy, that’s what the league will be asking?

How about grades?  In Cesafi, athletes only need a passing grade in 60 percent of their subjects to be eligible to play, a rule that encourages slackers.  Though some schools have their own standards, this is the practice.

So, instead of letting them bum around for two years, tell those who want to jump schools that they should have a grade of 2.0 (or even 1.5) in all their subjects before they are allowed to suit up anew. 

That way, the ball—pardon the pun—is in their hands.

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