Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fair Play: A different kind of court battle

(This column appears in the Sept 21. issue of Sun.Star Cebu)
SCOTT Aying of the University of San Carlos and Mikee Bartolome of the University of the Philippines got favorable court rulings in their battle against the residency rule against Cesafi and the UAAP.

But that’s not the end of their woes.



Bartolome got to swim, even setting a record in the relay, but the UAAP is moving to have her win stricken off.

Aying also got a 20-day TRO but he won’t be suiting up anytime soon as the Cesafi has suspended the high school games. 

“The Cesafi Board, in its meeting, decided to postpone the Cesafi high school games starting (Friday), until further notice,” Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy said in a text message to reporters.

No reason for the postponement was given.

However, I have an idea it would be at least for 20 days, or until the Cesafi gets to file an appeal. It seems the Cesafi is so adamant that it’s residency rule goes untouched by the courts it’s willing to do anything. 

Why?

Speaking in defense of the Cesafi residency rule, Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy told another daily that, “That rule is very important. We have to follow it. There will be chaos, if we don’t...We have to stand firm on this because violating this rule will destroy the schools’ sports program.”

Tiukinhoy said without the rule, players may jump from one school to another that offers more benefits or bigger allowance.

Well, there you go.  If that’s the sole reason, then why not adopt a uniform rate of benefits and allowance for all players? Or are they afraid that will open a can of worms?

It’s like the Cesafi is punishing the players for the conduct of the schools and there is something wrong with that picture.

You know what? The Cesafi would have been more believable had it been more consistent and of course I am citing the cases of Moncrief Rogado and Jade Dionson.

Both got to play for another school without serving the two-year residency rule.  In Rogado’s case, the Cesafi said, he didn’t have to because he graduated after four years in USPF and could transfer at will to UC for his fifth year.  In Dionson’s case, he didn’t have to because he quit school for two years and could transfer to USJ-R.

I sided with the Cesafi in Dionson’s case because nobody should sit for two more years after quitting school for two years. 

But as to Rogado’s case, well everyone but one school all thought it was a nice way of bending the rules to favor one school.

Just ask any of the reporters covering the Cesafi beat back then.

Anyway, the Scott Aying case looks far from over and it seems the Cesafi won’t give up without throwing everything plus the kitchen sink.

Who’ll win this fight?

I don’t know. But I sure hope common sense prevails.

This issue could have been avoided had the Cesafi treated the Aying case for the unique situation that it is. Because it didn’t, it has come to this.

It has gone from the basketball court to the courtroom and it’s not even over.

FOR ZAMBOANGA. A Cebu-based ZamboangueƱo is organizing a football tournament to help raise funds for his war-stricken kababayans.

Jheyel Soria (0917 744 8857) is planning to hold a seven-a-side tournament at the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu field next month. He hopes to attract eight teams in the men’s and another eight teams in the women’s division.

Those who want to help and have fun at the same time, well, here’s your chance.

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