THE UAAP will stop recruiting foreign players as early as 2015 once a rule change recommended by the league’s board is approved by heads of the eight member schools.
Rod Roque of host University of the East, speaking for the league in his capacity as UAAP secretary treasurer, said the board has submitted an amendment to the league rules halting the recruitment of foreign student athletes by next year.
“We are moving into stopping the recruitment of foreign players,” said Roque on Tuesday during the weekly PSA Forum at the Shakey’s Malate branch. “Eventually, there will be no foreign players in the UAAP.”
Roque, however, clarified that foreign players that are currently undergoing residency will still be allowed to play even when the rule change is already in place.
In the past, each UAAP team is allowed to have two foreigners in its lineup playing one at a time. Foreigners are also required to sit out for two years before being eligible to play.
At present, all UAAP member schools have a foreign player, almost all of African descent, either in the lineup or taking up residency.
Roque said the UAAP decided to enforce the ban to give more local athletes a chance to compete in the collegiate league while at the same time levelling the playing field.
“We want to give chances to the Filipino (athlete). Sila dapat ang nag-bebenefit doon sa nakukuha ng foreigner. That is why we would like to level the playing field,” Roque said.
Roque also said maintaining a foreign player has become tedious for the schools, beginning with the process of proving and verifying their eligibility.
“’Yung eligibility nila, ‘yung mga papers nila, kailangan mo pa na ipadala sa embassy nila. It’s so expensive to maintain a foreign player,” Roque said.
Roque said the ban on foreign players is one of the amendments that will be up for approval by the presidents of the eight member schools when they meet sometime this month.
Roque declined to reveal the other changes but informed sources told Spin.ph that the residency period for high school graduates transferring to another UAAP school is set to be decreased from two to one year in Season 78.
Spin.ph has also learned that the commissioner will be given more power to run the affairs of the tournament with the board no longer getting involved in game-related decisions.
Roque said that the amendments will be for the benefit all of those involved in the league.
“Eighty percent ng rules na in-amend namin. But rest assured that it will be better for the league,” said Roque.