UAAP Season 76: Controversy never ends

Pio Garcia - The Philippine Star

I think all of us have heard of what happened at TRACE the other day. Of the UAAP refusing to stand down from a TRO and reverting to an old, doubly idiotic rule instead. But the bigger news was that of the member schools boycotting events in which UP tanker Mikee Bartolome was participating in.

At first, I do not know what can be uglier than protests left and right on player suspensions because of unsportsmanlike conduct or accumulated unsportsmanlike fouls or whatever. Apparently, a circular telling everyone to boycott Bartolome, though purportedly fake, would be uglier.

What’s gone wrong UAAP? Or better yet, what’s gone wrong UST? This kid was your former swimmer. She only wanted to join her sister in the Lady Maroons’ team. Why would you withhold her papers ala-FEU? You are supposed to be better than this. Wait, let me correct that. You WERE.

As of late, the people running the schools have been more competitive than their athletes in filing protest, counter-protests, complaints and counter-complaints against each other. It seems they have forgotten that the UAAP is a points, medals and championships race. Not a protest race. Have they been nuked to stone age? May the good Lord help us then. From FEU (which definitely started all of this no thanks to their Soc Rivera rule) to Ateneo (which wants the board members of their rival schools kicked out from the table), they’ve been pretty active battling each other in the boardroom than in the pools, the basketball courts and pitches.

Let’s get this straight. The Bartolomes successfully got a TRO against the Jerie Pingoy rule (this one in effect no thanks again to Morayta’s hurt pride) and she’s set to torch opponents in the waters. However, the UAAP, in a totally foul move, said they’ll revert instead to the Soc Rivera rule. They also said that this rule has been in effect for decades.

Excuse me?

To the esteemed (or is that “steamed?”) UAAP board, the Soc Rivera rule was not put into effect until the start of UAAP 70. How can you say it has been a rule that’s been respected for decades? If I might put this into the argument, King Eaglet of yore, BJ Manalo, suited up for DLSU right after he graduated from the Ateneo High School. Did he serve residency? No of course not, he got to play right away. So what are you guys saying that this rule has been in effect and respected for decades?

We can do the math, sirs. It may not be our strongest suit, for some, but we can sure as hell count the years since the Soc Rivera rule was put in effect.

What I don’t understand, as I’m sure most of you all don’t as well, was the fact that there are two residency rules in effect. Shouldn’t it be that the Jerie Pingoy rule abolished the Soc Rivera rule since it is more recent? Or better yet, why don’t we just abolish the two nonsense rules and let the kids play the sport that they love in the institution that they want to play for?

Then again, what the member schools of the UAAP sans Ateneo, which took the high road and competed still, did to Bartolome was pure bullying. Very classy for institutions that say they have class and have been taught well and use it as a card to attack those who find something wrong in them.

Great season so far UAAP.

File your letters of complaint, clarification and protest to @PioVGarcia.











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