WHILE advocates of homegrown talent oppose Tab Baldwin taking charge of the Ateneo varsity program, a top UAAP official from a rival school has noted the league does not have a rule prohibiting teams from hiring foreign coaches.
Mark Molina, athletic director of Far Eastern University, pointed out the UAAP by-laws do not prohibit the hiring of foreign coaches despite a landmark court ruling that bars the practice in positions which a local can competently perform.
Molina noted that UAAP schools hiring foreign coaches is no longer new, citing Tai Bundit of the Ateneo women’s volleyball team and Korean Kim Chul Su of the FEU men’s football squad whose appointments, he noted, met little or no opposition.
“Siguro I can speak only on behalf of the UAAP. There is no rule in the UAAP prohibiting a foreign coach to coach in the UAAP,” said Molina during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“In fact, si Tai Bundit, the coach of Ateneo, is from Thailand and Kim Chul Su, our coach sa football, is from Korea,” Molina added.
“It just so happened it became more publicized because it’s basketball,” he said.
Basketball Coaches Association of the Philippines president Alfrancis Chua earlier cited a 2002 Court of Appeals decision on the case of coach Bill Bayno preventing the American coach from holding the job with Talk ‘N Text in the PBA.
Despite the court ruling, Molina believes all Baldwin needs are working permit and work visa from the Bureau of Immigration to be able to coach in the UAAP.
“I’m not familiar with the legalities as far as BCAP is concerned but as far as the UAAP is concerned, if he gets the work permits or work visas from our immigration, I believe he should be able to coach,” said Molina.
“If he is coaching Gilas, why can’t he coach in the UAAP?” Molina added.
Molina, however, admitted BCAP’s contention is also “valid” as the coaches group's stand provides protection for jobs of local coaches who are competent or even better than foreign coaches.
“Siyempre, the other concern of BCAP is also valid. Kailangang pag-usapan din ‘yun. Pero puwedeng sabihin ng Ateneo na they have 10 Filipino assistant coaches. Again, I’m not familiar and I just read it na may precedent na before. Maybe that’s something that they will pursue. I can only speak for UAAP rules and regulations and as far as I’m concerned, I don’t think there is a rule prohibiting that,” said Molina.
“In fact, a lot of schools, FEU included, have visiting foreign faculty. I think something like this is normal to a university,” said Molina.