UST, three other schools boycott UAAP women’s swimming competition

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20 September 2013, 9:55 p.m. – FOUR UNIVERSITIES including UST boycotted the women’s swimming competition of the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) on Thursday, in protest against a court order barring the league from enforcing its residency rules.

The surprise move came after former UST Female Tigershark Mikee Bartolome secured a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the UAAP’s two-year residency requirement that allowed her to be included in the swimming lineup of her new school, the University of the Philippines (UP).

“Yes, the [UST] senior women’s team will no longer compete,” head coach Cyrus Alcantara told the Varsitarian in a phone interview.

De La Salle University, Adamson University, and the University of the East joined UST in the protest.

The UAAP board extended its residency rule to two years from one year last March to curb athletic piracy. But schools were given the option to grant release papers to athletes who want to transfer to another UAAP school.

Bartolome, who switched to UP this year after graduating from UST High School, sued UST and the UAAP board last month after failing to get her release papers from UST. The 17-year-old had the backing of Sen. Pia Cayetano.

The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 226 first issued a TRO against the two-year rule last Sept. 3, but extended it to cover the old one-year rule last Sept. 18. The UAAP argued that the TRO had effectively reinstated the original one-year residency requirement.

In a statement, the UAAP board said it did not instigate the boycott and that it was the schools’ decision, “perhaps as a sign of personal indignation or protest.”

But removing the one-year rule was unfair, the UAAP board said.

“The court order was specific on the ‘two-year’ rule which was imposed only this Season 76, and not on the previously accepted ‘one-year’ rule. It would be worse for the UAAP if it also lifts the long accepted one-year rule. In Bartolome’s case, she, like all other freshman transferees before her, must undergo the one-year residency before she could swim for UP. Bartolome’s elder sister served a one-year residency before she could eventually compete for the Fighting Maroons,” the UAAP statement said.

Fr. Ermito de Sagon, O.P., director of the UST Institute of Physical Education and Athletics, said the decision to boycott the swimming competition “came from many people,” but the idea of a protest came from him.

“In fact, I brought out the idea. They (the team) consulted me because they were concerned over scholarships and they thought I’d get mad over their non-participation,” he said. “The decision came from many people. We were looking for a way to show that we are against the TRO but not violate it. The point was to convince other schools to not participate as well in order to nullify the results, as it can be considered failure of competition.”

De Sagon also explained the reason for pulling out the entire women’s team. “It turns out there’s a rule that if you don’t participate, for example, in an event in the morning, you will no longer be allowed to participate in the events for the rest of the day,” he said.

A team member told the Varsitarian the Female Tigersharks had initially decided to back out of Bartolome’s events: the 200-meter, 100-meter, and 50-meter backstroke. Later on, they decided not to participate in all women’s events.

Senator Cayetano, known for her opposition to the residency rule, condemned the boycott on Twitter.

“I condemn the actions of all UAAP board members and officials who orchestrated the swim meet boycott. Shame on [you],” she said on her Twitter account. Ralph Joshua D.R. Hernandez

13 COMMENTS

  1. its the other way around! it should be senator cayetano who should be ashamed of herself for meddling into the affairs of the uaap, of which she has no knowledge of. what she did was grave abuse of position and power! in the name of protecting the rights of the athletes kuno! tell that to the marines- or better yet to the maroons! she is just related to that athlete that’s why she meddled around. another palabas by a trapo! shame on her! there are more pressing matters that concern the nation.

    • I am no hardcore UAAP follower, but EVEN I can see that the residency rule is crafted for the sake of a few talented individuals. Robbing these young STUDENT-ATHLETES of their choices and opportunities is selfish and unfair. Why should you prevent a student on making a decision that affects his/her future?

      And yes, the lawmaker has a right to meddle with the affairs of the UAAP. What the UAAP is doing is detrimental to the development of the student-athlete, by blackmailing him/her with rules that will prevent him/her from making any decisions that will hurt a university’s athletic program.

      And I will quote you on the thing that makes my blood boil the most: “in the name of protecting the rights of the athletes kuno! tell that to the marines- or better yet to the maroons!”

      NO. Labeling them just as athletes is improper and disrespectful. Unlike basketball (and perhaps volleyball, with the emergence of the Super Liga), there aren’t a lot of possible options for a STUDENT-ATHLETE to go pro. These young STUDENT-ATHLETES are simply weighing their options well. I would assume that you have a child, yes? You will want him/her to do well in his/her chosen field, yes? Well, do remember that these STUDENT-ATHLETES are also children studying hard for their future. They can also see that there aren’t a lot of options for them to further their sport outside the collegiate leagues.

      I am capitalizing the word STUDENT-ATHLETE for you to remember, Dr. Palma, that they are studying as well. Life is multi-faceted; it is not governed solely by competitions. These STUDENT-ATHLETES will have to face life after they hang up whatever sports equipment they use.

      • You seem to forget that the purpose of the UAAP is not to compete at all cost. The residency/anti-piracy rule was instated to avoid mercenarial tendencies of athletes because they are amateurs and not professionals. And you forgot, that rule was instated collectively by the UAAP members and not just one university, which means UP agreed to it. Therefore, UP, in the first place shouldn’t have tolerated it. The UAAP exists not just for the purpose of athleticism but to instil virtues among the students in spite of the competition. Isn’t Honour one of the mottos of UP? So why tolerate it? If UP isn’t happy, then they should just get out of the UAAP.

        • You say that the purpose of the UAAP ruling is to prevent the acquisition of players in such a way that it would seem like a professional league. I am criticizing the two-year rule that is approved by the UAAP board. Sadly, the ruling makes it look like so. These young student-athletes have a right to choose where to study, and the university has no right to rob them of that opportunity. It is the child’s right to receive any kind of education he/she desires. The Jerie Pingoy rule prevents them from fully maximizing their time for self-growth while still in college.

          And let me tell you that UP DID NOT AGREE to the said proposition. The Diliman-based university and the Ateneo were against the ruling. You cannot reason that UP agreed to it; it was enforced upon them.

          I will quote you on what you said about instilling virtues and honor to the student-athletes of this league. If by virtues, you mean preventing them from creating adult and sensible choices of their own, and enforcing with them the “utang na loob” mindset to make them stay, then the UAAP isn’t such a great league after all. Forcing athletes to be loyal when they actually have other plans is selfish. There is no honor in blackmail, my good sir.

        • That they are not just athletes, THEY ARE STUDENT-ATHLETES. Why do people keep on ignoring the fact that these athletes are students as well? These student-athletes are considering their future as well as their sport. To rob them of the chance to play immediately if they transferred to a school that can help them in their careers is (and I will reiterate this for the Nth time because I CANNOT stress this enough) selfish.

          Sadly, every school in the league has contributed a part to this sad farce.

  2. 1. Why do these schools have the right to choose student-athletes who will they keep in their team rosters and while student-athletes cannot choose the school they want to play for without hassles imposed by their schools or the league?

    2. What is common among UAAP and NCAA schools that started the recruiting of players of foreign extraction or foreign-bred Filipinos that resulted in competition imbalance and that other schools followed suit to cope up and the leagues ammended their rules?

    3. Now, do religious people play fair & square?

  3. UAAP has every right to impose a rule. Every sport has a rule and so is the sports association.No one is depriving anyone of the right to choose among UAAP universities for academic reason. BUT it’s different when it comes to sport, UAAP has a residency rule to prevent piracy (ex. a rookie champion player given a very tempting offer by another university to play the following year) Although NO one is depriving anyone the right to transfer, you still need to wait for 2 years because that’s the UAAP RULE. Shame on Cayetano for meddling and for not respecting the rule of UAAP.

  4. If i remember correctly, the one year rule was replaced by the two year rule.

    It would be stupid to have a two year rule concurrent with a one year rule.

    Since the two year rule had a tro, you cannot revert to a rule that was already phased out.

    Sabi nga ng ust law prof, parang pdaf lang yan. The 70m pdaf per congressman had a tro. Does that mean that congressmen can go back to the previous 30m pdaf scheme?

    In one word, NO.

  5. I agree with dr Palma. A rule is a rule. So if bartolome wanted to study in UP , UST is not stopping her to do so. But she knew from the start that there is a residency rule for all uaap student transferees. Di ba edukasyon naman yun priority Nya? So what’s a year di muna mag compete? If all senators will be like pia. Walang patutunguhan lalo bansa natin. Dun magaling mga epal. Pasikat pero wala naman nagawa para sa bayan. Hays.its plain and simple follow the rule Kung ayaw mo di wag kang pumasok sa school or university na alam mo di ka naman susunod sa rule nila.

  6. Agree ako sa residency rule. Baka nga naman talamak ang piracy ng mga talented student-athletes. So in this way, mahihirapan ang schools to acquire the home-grown talents of other schools.
    But with a 2 year residency rule? I believe that’s too much.

  7. For every Jerie Pingoy or Mikee Bartolome there are 20 or so other student-athletes each UAAP member school still needs to complete their teams in some unpopular sport yet won’t even take a second look at them nor spend a single penny in their training, just giving them a jacket (if they’re lucky), whom they could cut anytime–and these kids still need to try-out and qualify for whatever UAAP member college varsity program that may take them in for the love of the game and to alleviate collegiate expense through varsity scholarships. Now, imagine they’ll only be able to avail and experience these on their 3rd year. Imagine some non-superstar athtlete in, say, football, still have to sit out two years even if the very reason he transferred is that his HS coach don’t know him from Jack. — Really stupid rule.

  8. For every Jerie Pingoy or Mikee Bartolome there are 20 or so other student-athletes each UAAP member school still needs to complete their teams in some unpopular sport yet won’t even take a second look at them nor spend a single penny in their training, just giving them a jacket (if they’re lucky), whom they could cut anytime–and these kids still need to try-out and qualify for whatever UAAP member college varsity program that may take them in for the love of the game and to alleviate collegiate expense through varsity scholarships. Now, imagine they’ll only be able to avail and experience these on their 3rd year. Imagine some non-superstar athtlete in, say, football, still have to sit out two years even if the very reason he transferred is that his HS coach don’t know him from Jack. — Really stupid rule.

  9. nothing can be worse than loyalty because of money! yes, everyone has the right and freedom to choose, but with freedom comes great responsibility. it is the rerponsibility of a league like the uaap to instill freedom with responsibility. the uaap being a private entity has the right to adapt its rules to the existing issues that hound the league. you are also infringing on the rights of the uaap by forcing them to change a rule that they have legally voted upon. yes frustated casual i have children, and i would like them to follow rules! think very well and analyze who is selfish. peace be with you.

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